'For a dead man, Elvis Presley is awfully noisy. His body may have failed him in 1977, but today his spirit, his image, and his myths do more than live on: they flourish, they thrive, they multiply.'
Why is Elvis Presley so ubiquitous a presence in US culture? Why does he continue to enjoy a cultural prominence that would be the envy of the most heavily publicized living celebrities?
In Elvis after Elvis Gil Rodman traces the myriad manifestations of The King in popular and not-so-popular culture. He asks why Elvis continues to defy our expectations of how dead stars are supposed to behave: Elvis not only refuses to go away, he keeps showing up in places where he seemingly doesn't belong.
Rodman draws upon an extensive and eclectic body of Elvis 'sightings', from Elvis's appearances at the heart of the 1992 Presidential campaign to the debate over his worthiness as a subject for a postage stamp, and from Elvis's central role in furious debates about racism and the appropriation of African-American music to the world of Elvis impersonators and the importance of Graceland as a place of pilgrimage for Elvis fans and followers.
Rodman shows how Elvis has become inseparable from many of the defining myths of US culture, enmeshed with the American dream and the very idea of the 'United States', caught up in debates about race, gender and sexuality and in the wars over what constitutes a national culture.