130 color plates
7 x 10
According to medievalist Gary Vikan, Graceland is much more than a wildly popular tourist destination associated with a famous entertainer, and Elvis Presley is much more than the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. In this fascinating new book, Vikan posits that Graceland, the second-most visited historic house in the United States, is a locus sanctus—a holy place—and Elvis is its resident saint. Thus the hordes of fans that crowd Elvis Presley Boulevard in Memphis are modern day pilgrims, connected in spirit and practice to their early Christian counterparts, sharing a fascination for icons and iconography, relics, souvenirs, votives, and even a belief in miracles. Vikan goes on to explore many other loci sancti around the world, including Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan, the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, the Grassy Knoll in Dallas, and the Place de l’Alma in Paris. From the Holy Land to Gracelandexplores the role of our “martyred” secular saints today from John F. Kennedy to Michael Jackson.