John Wayne's America by Garry Wills
The Politics of Celebrity

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The best-selling author of Lincoln at Gettysburg explores the life and times of John Wayne and his legend, explaining how the man, Marion Morrison, became a myth and how that myth shaped Americans' political attitudes and ideas. 75,000 first printing. $60,000 ad/promo. Tour.

About Garry Wills

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Garry Wills, 1934 - Garry Wills was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1934. Wills received a B.A. from St. Louis University in 1957, an M.A. from Xavier University of Cincinnati in 1958, an M.A. (1959) and a Ph.D. (1961) in classics from Yale. Wills was a junior fellow of the Center for Hellenic Studies from 1961-62, an associate professor of classics and adjunct professor of humanities at Johns Hopkins University from 1962-80. Wills was the first Washington Irving Professor of Modern American History and Literature at Union College, and was also a Regents Professor at the University of California in Santa Barbara, Silliman Seminarist at Yale, Christian Gauss Lecturer at Princeton, W.W. Cook Lecturer at the University of Michigan Law School, Hubert Humphrey Seminarist at Macalester College, Welch Professor of American Studies at Notre Dame University and Henry R. Luce Professor of American Culture and Public Policy at Northwestern University (1980-88). Wills is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and his articles appear frequently in The New York Review of Books. Wills is the author of "Lincoln at Gettysburg," which won the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction in 1993 and the NEH Presidential Medal, "John Wayne's America," "A Necessary Evil: A History of American Distrust of Government" and "The Kennedy Imprisonment." Other awards received by Wills include the National Book Critics Award, the Merle Curti Award of the organization of American Historians, the Wilbur Cross Medal from Yale Graduate School, the Harold Washington Book Award and the Peabody Award for excellence in broadcasting, which was for writing and narrating the 1988 "Frontline" documentary "The Candidates.
Published March 10, 1997 by Simon & Schuster. 384 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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the critic Eric Bentley called him ``the most dangerous man in America.'' But as Wills expertly details, the fault is not so much with Wayne as with ourselves: ``By a confluence of audience demand and commercial production, the Wayne that took shape in the transaction between the two expressed de...

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AV Club

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Wills focuses primarily on Wayne's westerns, particularly his work with director John Ford: He casts their Cold War westerns into a particularly compelling light, showing that the Manifest Destiny sentiments of the cavalry films have much in common with the beliefs of post-war America.

Mar 29 2002 | Read Full Review of John Wayne's America: The Pol...

Entertainment Weekly

Freud called the deepest layer of the subconscious mind the id, but in America it's known as John Wayne.

Mar 21 1997 | Read Full Review of John Wayne's America: The Pol...


Wills, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Lincoln at Gettysburg, explains why 18 years after John Wayne's death, the actor remains one of America's most beloved movie stars.

Aug 11 2001 | Read Full Review of John Wayne's America: The Pol...

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