"Considering how much has been written about Elvis Presley, is another book about him really necessary? In this case, the answer is an emphatic yes. Presenting a subject dear to their hearts, Jeansonne, Luhrssen, and Sokolovic offer a well-researched, entertaining volume that provides fascinating insights into Presley's life, his accomplishments, and the culture that formed him. . . . Because it is both engaging and carefully documented, the volume will serve a broad audience."
"In Elvis Presley, Reluctant Rebel, the little boy from Tupelo who could, Elvis Aaron Presley, finally has the chance to shine through and break the yellowed, cracked veneer that is the Golden Tomb of the American Dream. In the war between Elvis fact and fiction, this highly entertaining and lovingly researched book details the historic, spiritual and commercial aspects of America's Mystery Son, Elvis Presley."
"Elvis Presley is an enigma regarding music history and popular culture or, rather, he has been up until this book.
Other Presley titles get it wrong, do not get it or get far too much of it; this text stabilizes historical record and cultural import with accurately balanced scholarship and insightfully measured commentary.
Elvis Presley finally becomes rightfully balanced within musical and cultural contexts in Elvis Presley: Reluctant Rebel."
"From Elvis' early life singing gospel music, to the glory days at Sam Phillip's Sun label, to the glitzy, pill-popping tragic end in Las Vegas, Elvis Presley, Reluctant Rebel captures it all. A wonderfully written book, it encapsulates the humanity, the excesses, and the inimitable style of 'the King.' "
"Glen Jeansonne and David Luhrssen’s Elvis Presley, Reluctant Rebel is a deeply researched, richly detailed account of the life of one of America’s most famous entertainers. Elvis’ meteoric rise and the years that followed are covered thoroughly in this fast-paced narrative. What will set this study apart from others examining the life of Elvis is the rich social and cultural history found in it, as well as the historical perspective with which the authors surround their subject."
"As he has done many times in the past, Glen Jeansonne has brought his formidable research skills and his poetic prose to a subject that less thoughtful historians might pass by. Once again, he has shown us that the direction of our culture rests with those who have touched our collective experiences in a wide variety of ways."
"Elvis Presley: Reluctant Rebel reminds us of Elvis' singular talents as well as his southern roots and national context. It demystifies the Elvis mythology and replaces anecdotes with facts. The book is as important as it is engaging and entertaining, correctly placing its subject within the stream of mid-twentieth-century American popular culture, and it reminds us that although Elvis often shaped his times, he also reflected them."
"This is a finely written and well researched look at one of America's most beloved icons. While delving into the existing literature on Elvis, Jeansonne, Luhrrsen, and Sokolovic have also uncovered fresh material and fashioned a poignant and convincing portrait. The authors' insights, the clarity of their prose, and their devotion to the subject matter—which they make clear is born of their own coming-of-age—make this an imminently readable book."