The Fall of America Journals, 1965-1971

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$34.95  $32.50
University of Minnesota Press
Publish Date
6.6 X 9.4 X 1.9 inches | 2.55 pounds

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About the Author

Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997) was born in Newark, New Jersey. As a student at Columbia College in the 1940s, he began close friendships with William Burroughs, Neal Cassady, and Jack Kerouac, and later became associated with the Beat movement and the San Francisco Renaissance in the 1950s. After jobs as a laborer, sailor, and market researcher, he published his first volume of poetry, Howl and Other Poems, in 1956. "Howl" defeated censorship trials to become one of the most widely read poems of the century. He received the National Book Award in 1974 for The Fall of America.

Michael Schumacher is author of the acclaimed Ginsberg biography Dharma Lion (Minnesota, 2016). Along with Ginsberg's Iron Curtain Journals and South American Journals and Conversations with Allen Ginsberg (all from Minnesota), he has edited Family Business, selected correspondence between Allen and Louis Ginsberg, and The Essential Ginsberg, a reader of Ginsberg's best work.

"It is interesting to follow along with Schumacher's notes as to what is being recorded and where it falls into The Fall of America. Having both books open and available is rewarding -- the inspiration and the final product."--Joseph Spukler

"An effusive outpouring of reflections on a traumatic time, most appealing to Ginsberg fans."--Kirkus Reviews

"The Fall of America journals contain some of the finest of Ginsberg's spontaneous writing, accomplished as he pondered the best and worst that his country had to offer."--The Paris Review

"Allen Ginsberg's The Fall of America Journals, 1965-1971, glistens brightly with openhearted compassion, keen-eyed observation, Bodhisattva mindfulness, political daring, and angelic vision. Expertly edited by Michael Schumacher, every page sparkles with fierce poetic intimacy. The Vietnam War and the Civil Rights Movement, LGBTQ equality, and counterculture insurgency are all nobly documented by Ginsberg. A blowtorch book of Beat/New Left literature for the ages. Highly recommended!"--Douglas Brinkley, editor of Windblown World: The Journals of Jack Kerouac 1947-1954

"Following in the footsteps of legendary photographer Robert Frank's groundbreaking The Americans and Jack Kerouac's opus On the Road, Allen Ginsberg gives us deep insight into his poems in The Fall of America. What makes this collection of journals memorable and deeply insightful is that the spontaneous observations cohere in radically unexpected ways. It is the very fundamental questions it asks of an America in total transformation, at warp speed, that makes The Fall of America Journals, 1965-1971 so powerful. If there's one thing you will see at the end of the book and the original collection of Ginsberg poems it refers to, it's that every poem this book refers to is a prismatic hall of mirrors with an incredible back story. Sometimes, it's the stories about the stories that make it all converge. A must read for anyone who enjoys progressive poetry that builds worlds upon worlds upon worlds."--Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky