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.