OVERRIDE

Fortunate Son

The Life of Elvis Presley

Charles L. Ponce de Leon

Hill and Wang

Elvis Presley was celebrity's perfect storm. His sole but substantial contribution was talent, a fact Charles L. Ponce de Leon is careful to demonstrate throughout his wonderfully contextual Fortunate Son. Even as the moments of lucidity necessary to exercise that talent grew rarer and rarer, Elvis proved his musical gifts right up to the end of his life. Beyond that, however, he was fortune's child. Fortunate Son succinctly traces out the larger shifts that repeatedly redefined the cultural landscape during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, using Elvis's life to present a brief history of American popular culture during these tumultuous decades.

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Fortunate Son
CHAPTER 1From Tupelo to MemphisFIRST SETTLED BY WHITES in the 1830s, the wooded hill country of northeastern Mississippi was a magnet for aspiring yeoman farmers and their families for most of the nineteenth century. Boasting rich black soil, abundant stores of shortleaf pine and hardwoods, fish-laden streams, and plenty of game, it was an ideal locale for subsistence farming. Before the Civil War, it was a region with few slave owners, where farm families pooled their resources and worked tirelessly to eke out a crude but reasonably secure living.1After the war, the hill country
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REVIEWS

Praise for Fortunate Son

"A vivid retelling of the Elvis Saga, and a deft assessment of its meanings."  --Richard Wightman Fox
 
"A surprisingly worthwhile addition to the groaning shelf of Elvis books, emphasizing the historical and cultural context for his music and celebrity . . . A thoughtful synthesis of the most intelligent writing on the Presley phenomenon." --Kirkus Reviews
 
"A brief new life of Elvis Presley emphasizes his conservative political values." --The Atlantic Monthy

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Charles L. Ponce de Leon

  • Charles L. Ponce de Leon teaches history at the State University of New York, Purchase, and is the author of Self-Exposure: The Emergence of Celebrity in America, 1890-1940.
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    Fortunate Son

    The Life of Elvis Presley

    Charles L. Ponce de Leon

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    Hill and Wang

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