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Elvis in the Army: The King of Rock 'n' Roll, as Seen by an Officer Who Served with Him [Hardcover]

William J. Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

31 Aug 1995
Bill Taylor came to know Elvis Presley as few people ever have: in a senior-subordinate relationship. In Germany, in 1958-59, the young private singled out Lt. Taylor as his friend and mentor. This book, filled with never-before-told anecdotes and some newly published photos, tells the story of the eight months Taylor and Presley served together. 32 photos.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Presidio Press (31 Aug 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0891415580
  • ISBN-13: 978-0891415589
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 16.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,650,351 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Unusual elvis book but great just the same 1 April 2013
By jaks
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A different slant on the legend of elvis. Bill Taylor gives his own honest perspective on the army elvis that we dont always get to hear about
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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good soldier. 22 Aug 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
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.)
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ELVIS in the ARMY 21 Dec 2012
By Jutta F. Schoner - Published on Amazon.com
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!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Insightful Than You Might Think 7 Jan 2012
By Readin' and Rockin' - Published on Amazon.com
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). And just as interestingly, Elvis very much admired J.F.K., and cried unashamedly when he was murdered. He later supported purported "peace candidate" Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964: "All The Way With LBJ" lamps adorned his home. He never supported anyone again in this way. (He was very grateful to Richard M. Nixon for fulfilling his unexpected request for a Federal Narcotics Badge in 1970, but that's another story.)

Taylor was undoutedly unaware that Presley had endorsed Adlai Stevenson in his first year of fame (and the first year he was eligible to vote). Stevenson's "New Politics" was anchored in a stance against the draft. "I don't dig the intellectual bit," Elvis opined, "but man, he knows the most." Newspaper accounts also said that he stated "there should be no draft," a Stevenson position. If Taylor knew this, he might not have brought up the matter of his concern with Presley.

Get this book!! (I hope this edition has all the stories in that mine does: that it is not abridged in any way.)

My review likely refers to an earlier printing of Taylor's book.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read 14 July 2013
By JKEP - Published on Amazon.com
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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