If you would like to find out everything you always wanted to know about the Beat Generation but were afraid to ask, this is the book for you. Amazing stories. —Recommended by Don, City Lights Books
Anyone who cares to understand the cultural ferment of America in the later twentieth century must know of the writings and lives of those scruffy bohemians known as the Beats. In this highly entertaining work, Bill Morgan, the country's leading authority on the movement and a man who personally knew most of the Beat writers, narrates their history, tracing their origins in the 1940s to their influence on the social upheaval of the 1960s.
The Beats, through their words and nonconformist lives, challenged staid postwar America. They believed in free expression, dabbled in free love, and condemned the increasing influence of military and corporate culture in our national life. But the Beats were not saints. They did too many drugs and consumed too much booze. The fervent belief in spontaneity that characterized their lives and writings destroyed some friendships. As we watch their peripatetic lives and sexual misadventures, we are reminded above all that while their personal lives may not have been holy, their typewriters and their lasting words very much were.