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28 Jan 14

When Elvis Presley joined the US Army in 1958 it was an international event, with media coverage of everything from cutting his famous hair to European fans flocking to meet him. During his two years in uniform, Elvis was transformed in the public mind from the rock-and-roll outlaw to an all-American boy. But his service raises questions of greater significance for understanding Cold War America. Historian Brian Linn asks, What kind of army did Elvis join? What was its mission? How did it prepare for war? Why was it so fascinated with technology? Why did Americans expect their army to not only train teenagers as soldiers, but to provide education, technical training, and moral instruction?

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