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5.0 out of 5 stars
Indispensable piece of social history, 22 Jan. 2014
"Elvis and Ireland" is an indispensable piece of Irish social history: it examines how Catholic Ireland had its mores shaken by the "subversive" influence of Elvis, the King of rock 'n' roll and prototypical rockstar. Casey's research shows that Elvis's influence ran so widely and deeply in Ireland that he was the subject of debate in Dáil Éireann, the principal chamber of the Irish parliament; furthermore, the book examines in fascinating detail how the "King" provoked the animosity of Bishop John Charles McQuaid, the quintessential pillar and symbol of Irish Catholic conservatism. What "Elvis and Ireland" does so successfully is thread the reactions and feelings of the media, members of government and of Church, of musicians and artists, into a single coherent and lucid account. This is the métier of any biographer or historian. And then there is the music: I was delighted to learn the details of Elvis's devotion to the recordings of the great Irish tenor Count John McCormack in particular, and I admire "Elvis and Ireland" for the huge degree of research which went into the acquisition of opinions of figures in Irish life on Elvis and his personal influence and/or importance to them. I look forward to reading "Elvis and Ireland" again, and revisiting some of Elvis's music and then music of some of the Irish stars he influenced, and by whom he was influenced, on the way.