The Best Minds of My Generation: A Literary History of the Beats

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$27.00  $25.11
Grove Press
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6.4 X 1.7 X 9.1 inches | 1.55 pounds
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About the Author

Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997) was a poet, activist, and one of the Beat Generation's most renowned writers. He was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and co-founder of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa Institute. He won the National Book Award for Poetry and his groundbreaking poem Howl is one of the most widely read and translated poems of the century.

Bill Morgan has written and edited thirty-nine books, including I Celebrate Myself: The Somewhat Private Life of Allen Ginsberg.

Anne Waldman is an internationally acclaimed poet, scholar, and activist. She is the author of more than 40 books, including Fast Speaking Woman, Vow to Poetry, and Helping the Dreamer. She is a recipient of the American Book Award's Lifetime Achievement and the Poetry Society of America's Shelley Memorial Award. She divides her time between New York City and Boulder, Colorado.


Praise for The Best Minds of My Generation

"A marvelous feat of editing and reorganization . . . A compact and often spellbinding text, preserving intact the story of the literary movement Ginsberg led, promoted and never ceased to embody . . . Put together by an erudite genius of encyclopedic recall."--New York Times Book Review

"Scholarly, wide-ranging and full of penetrating insight and fascinating literary gossip, the book is a major contribution to the core Beat canon, and provides an astonishingly intimate view of a homegrown American literary movement that would have a generative influence worldwide . . . Best Minds situates the Beats in cultural history in a way that no other exploration of their work does."--San Francisco Chronicle

"Bill Morgan has culled The Best Minds of My Generation from two decades of lectures delivered by Ginsberg, the Beats' chief mouthpiece, lit hustler, chronicler and flamekeeper . . . The Best Minds of My Generation is a reminder that great writing is not always about good taste or approved schools of technique, but engagement, energy and revolt."--Irish Times

"Jack Kerouac may have coined the term Beat Generation, but it was Ginsberg's indefatigable energy that shaped and sustained one of the most significant movements in American literature . . . Morgan, a leading authority on Ginsberg and author of numerous books on the Beat Generation, has done a superb job organizing and editing the material, while preserving the poet's voice and lecture style . . . Essential reading."--Library Journal

"A gold mine for anyone interested in beat literature . . . Ginsberg reads and thinks like a poet; interested in language and style, he abandons narrative to leap from image to image, yoking grandiloquent statements with pungent summations and deadpan remarks. Fans of the period will embrace Ginsberg's raconteur style and insider knowledge about his friends and their achievements."--Publishers Weekly

"Authoritatively edited by Morgan from course material and tapes . . . While many classes were as free-wheeling, digressive, and opinionated as anyone might expect from Ginsberg, most offered close readings, literary background, candid recollections, and cogent analyses, highlighting both craft and literary influence . . . A rich sourcebook for literary historians and fans of the passionate, iconoclastic Beats."--Kirkus Reviews

"A compilation sure to please followers of the Beat Generation's Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs and others."--OutClique