Book Review: 'Double Trouble: Bill Clinton and Elvis Presley in a Land of No Alternatives'
Ever since Bill Clinton resuscitated his flagging 1992 presidential bid by playing ”Heartbreak Hotel” on The Arsenio Hall Show, he’s been linked to the King — and music writer Greil Marcus counts the ways in Double Trouble: Bill Clinton and Elvis Presley in a Land of No Alternatives, a collection of 41 reworked magazine and newspaper articles. But in comparing these two Southern boys with charisma to burn, Marcus employs a discursive style that quickly grates: He buttresses one argument with quotes from the forgettable sitcom Jesse and spends way too much time on a mildly paranoid conspiracy theory. (Clinton’s inauguration and the Elvis stamp’s release occurred within days of each other!) There’s enormous potential in this cultural critique, but Marcus squanders most of it, musing as often about Kurt Cobain and Bob Dylan as he does about Elvis and Bill. B-