Acclaimed writer Alexander Theroux (the former Harvard, Yale, and MIT professor best recognized for his novel Darconville's Cat and The Primary Colors, which John Updike called "a unique gem") delves into the well-known, yet often glossed over, dark side of one of our most celebrated funnymen, Al Capp, creator of Li'l Abner. Compassionately, but with a keen eye, Theroux traces Capp's transformation from a brilliantly funny social advocate creator of the American myth into a much darker, haunted man who adopted the conservative politics he once criticized. By juxtaposing Capp's art with his life, Theroux offers a rich and compelling analysis of this complex icon of American culture.
"An extended look at how the good-hearted unpolitics of the character Li'l Abner and the mean-spirited politics of his creator were drawn into irresolvable tension. Theroux's analysis is at its finest when he explores Capp's inability to negotiate in his own life what he'd criticized in his strip for so long." – Josh Glenn, Hermenaut