A darkly comic, fictional trip through 1970s Americana with Richard Nixon and Elvis Presley riding shotgun.
On December 21st, 1970 a drug-addled Elvis Presley showed up unannounced at the entrance gate of the White House with a handwritten request to meet with President Nixon. Elvis lamented the Beatles as a “real force for anti-American spirit” and assured the commander-in-chief, “I’m on your side.” With aides watching and flashbulbs popping, Nixon presented Elvis with an FBI Special Narcotics Agent badge; an ecstatic Elvis put his arms around the President, pulling him in for a spontaneous embrace. It was a surreal – yet undeniably real – moment in history. But the stranger-than-fiction story doesn't end, or begin, there…
Against the backdrop of that historical meeting, Jonathan Lowy weaves a vivid web of stories about the eccentric cast of characters whose lives were forever changed by the encounter. Some of the stories are fact, some are fiction, but all are unforgettable.
We meet a colonel, who spends his tormented days at the Pentagon trying to develop the right PR spin on the My Lai massacre; an eager-beaver policy wonk, who cooks up feel-good White House programs to distract the public from the war; and a disabled black veteran, whose act of protest in a Rose Garden ceremony sets off a spectacular chain of events. In the middle of the fray stand Richard Nixon - his integrity and presidency becoming more precarious by the day - and Elvis Presley - desperately searching for what he's lost along the way to stardom. Impossible to put down and peopled with a memorable cast of characters, Elvis and Nixon is a sleek, incisive exploration of America at a crucial tipping point.
Crown/Archetype; June 2016
- ISBN 9780451499196
- Read online, or download in secure EPUB format
- Title: Elvis and Nixon
- Author: Jonathan Lowy
In The Press
"Imaginative and often hilarious first novel...a darkly comic melodrama the likes of which we haven't seen since The Manchurian Candidate." (starred)
About The Author
Jonathan Lowy is the author of the novels The Temple of Music and Elvis and Nixon. Elvis and Nixon won the Dictionary of Literary Biography Yearbook Award for Distinguished First Novel Published in U.S. in 2001, as well as the 2001 Towson University Prize for Literature. A graduate of Harvard College and the University of Virginia School of Law, he lives in Maryland with his wife and two children.