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Elvis in the Army: The King of Rock 'n' Roll as Seen by an Officer Who Served with Him Hardcover – June 1, 1995


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 169 pages
  • Publisher: Presidio Press; First Edition edition (June 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0891415580
  • ISBN-13: 978-0891415589
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #206,251 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The superstar of rock music was already a celebrity when he was drafted into the army in 1958. Presley could have spent his military service entertaining troops; instead, he volunteered to serve in a combat unit. Assigned to a tank outfit in Germany, he trained hard, partied hard and won the respect of his comrades in arms. The author, Presley's platoon leader, depicts this with poignant word-snapshots from what were perhaps the happiest days in the life of this American icon: Elvis gleefully capturing an "enemy" officer during a field exercise; the King risking an Article 15 (nonjudicial punishment by the company commander) to help a buddy out of a jam; and one wonderful moment when Elvis, prevailed on to sing at a party, dedicated a spirited rendition of "Hound Dog" to the author. Taylor says Elvis is remembered by all who served with him as a fine young man who did his job to the best of his ability and tried to stay out of the limelight. A retired colonel, Taylor is senior vice-president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Photos.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

You might think that everyone who had more than a nodding acquaintance with the king of rock 'n' roll has written their book by now, but no. Here comes Elvis' immediate commanding officer during his 1959 stint with the Thirty-second Tank Battalion in Germany. Taylor, then a lieutenant barely older than the famous private and now a retired colonel, tells simple tales of a young man who was basically a good soldier and a regular guy, tales that are pretty much just what reverent Presleyphiles want to hear. They are not exciting, though, so add this item for the fans' sake and steer those seriously interested in Elvis to Guralnick's Last Train to Memphis (1994) and, soon, to its eagerly anticipated sequel. Ray Olson

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 22, 1997
Format: Paperback
Written by Elvis' platoon commander in the 32nd
Armor, 3rd Armored Division, this book gives the
details of the famous singer's military service in
Germany in 1958-60.

In the heyday of the Evil Empire, with
ready armies glowering at each other over the Iron
Curtain, duty with a combat unit in Germany was no
joke. The training was rugged and continuous, and
our troops had to be ready to sacrifice themselves
in the early stages of any projected conflict. This
was a place for men, not sissy stars (such as some
others serving at the same time), and Elvis proved
himself worthy of the trust America placed in him.

By hard work, and serious diligence to duty, Private
Presley made himself into a formidable soldier, asking for no special favors and
earning his place among warriors.

This Elvis will always be due the respect of his
country.

(The numerical rating above is a default setting
within Amazon's format. This reviewer does not
employ numerical ratings.)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jutta F. Schoner on December 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Another good book regarding Elvis Presley during his time in the Army.

I would also recommend this book since every addition brings more information
about the early life of The King.

I absolutely love it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Readin' and Rockin' on January 6, 2012
Format: Paperback
The book gives an inside look at the Cold War armed forces in occupied West Germany, just before the Berlin Crisis, for one thing. Elvis seemed surprised at how "prepared" the officers were for a potential war.

The principal reason for getting this book is that Elvis very privately shares his views on war and armed conflict. He sees WWII as a necessary war, that almost everyone could understand and thus support. He tells Bill Taylor that he felt very differently about "Korean-type" conflicts. Taylor expresses concern about the change from Eisenhower to a possible Kennedy presidency. Will Kennedy be tough enough? Will he back up his stern words about the threat from behind The Iron Curtain? After all, Taylor tells Elvis, the U.S. is "a seafaring nation," and Indochina (the region that includes Vietnam) was important to U.S. interests. He hoped that if Kennedy won the election of 1960, that he would have Eisenhower's toughness. But he wasn't sure.

Taylor was surprised (and seemed to remain so, as events of the 1960s unfolded, and how Elvis seemed to see it coming) at what Elvis said next. "Well, he can talk . . . but most people I know don't want any more Korean-type things." Elvis didn't want the U.S. "going all over the world, getting people killed, so some politician can 'act tough.'" At the time, Taylor disagreed, for the most part, and continued to, apparently. He took the point about "different" kinds of wars, but he was a military career man. But, as the 1960s unfolded, he recalled Elvis's comment, and he was stunned that a less-educated (than he had been) young fellow could see future events so clearly.

Interestingly, by the end of John F. Kennedy's 1000 day Presidency, he was not so "tough" anymore (check out his "American University Peace Speech" of 1963).
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By JKEP on July 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one of those books showing Elvis was just like anyone else with a humbleness and respect for others even while serving his country. He had that southern charm and ability to carry out any orders or other duties he when called upon to do so. This book is written from the perspective of an officer who was became a friend as well as a mentor for Elvis. Elvis is remembered for being someone who (even though becoming one of the most famous people in music history) was willing to do his part for our country with no special favoritism. With heart, a smile to light up a room and a God given talent, Elvis rose to the occasion and for that we can all be grateful to Elvis and the example he set for anyone, no matter what station in life you are. Elvis could have taken the easy way out while serving his country but instead chose to do the right thing, do his part and earn the respect of his fellow comrades and officers alike.
A good read if you want to know Elvis a little better away from the life he was to lead after the Army.
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