OVERRIDE

Double Trouble

Bill Clinton and Elvis Presley in a Land of No Alternatives

Greil Marcus

Picador

In June of 1992, when all the polls showed that Bill Clinton didn't have a chance, he took his saxophone onto the Arsenio Hall show, put on dark glasses, and blew "Heartbreak Hotel." Greil Marcus, one of America's most imaginative and insightful popular culture critics, was the first to name this as the moment that turned Clinton's campaign around—and to make sense of why. Double Trouble draws on articles Marcus published from 1992 to 2000 to explore the remarkable and illuminating kinship between Bill Clinton and Elvis Presley—and, moreover, to explore how culture is made and shared in today's America and how, through culture, people remake themselves.

Double Trouble is a unique and essential book about the final years of the twentieth century. This edition also includes a new essay Marcus wrote just before the 2000 presidential election: an eerily prescient piece that looks forward to two very different futures for ex-President Bill Clinton.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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DOUBLE TROUBLE
Part OneTHE ELVIS ELECTION 1992-1993 A Moral CrisisIn late February and early March I went from London to Dublin to Amsterdam to talk about a book on the culture that's grown up around Elvis Presley since he died--you can say promote, or flog, but most of the time that's not what it felt like. Newsbreaks included the National Enquirer's Dee Presley explosion: HIS OWN STEPMOM REVEALS SHOCKING TRUTH AT LAST--ELVIS AND HIS MOM WERE LOVERS. The U.S. Postal Service announced a primary-season vote to decide which of two artist's-rendering Elvis head shots (more or less '56 vs. '73,
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REVIEWS

Praise for Double Trouble

"His strongest work in the quarter-century since he published his classic Mystery Train . . . The finest rock critic around."—Adam Liptak, The New York Observer

"Marcus is probably the world's greatest living rock critic, and a virtuoso at projecting the rockin' way of knowledge into the larger world outside . . . A mythic cultural history of Slick Willie's presidency."—Charles Shaar Murray, The Independent (London)

"A collection of forty short essays brimming with savvy commentary, pithy anecdotes, trenchant observations, and rollicking satire . . . Offer[s] irresistibly offbeat glimpses into the zeitgeist of the last decade of the twentieth century."—Douglas Brinkley, The Los Angeles Times

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Greil Marcus

  • Greil Marcus is the author of Dead Elvis; Lipstick Traces; The Old, Weird America; and Mystery Train. His pieces have appeared in a wide range of publications, including Artforum, Interview, The New Yorker, The New York Times, and Esquire. He lives in Berkeley, California.
  • Greil Marcus Copyright BoziCORBIS
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Available Formats and Book Details

Double Trouble

Bill Clinton and Elvis Presley in a Land of No Alternatives

Greil Marcus

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Picador

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