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The Beat Generation

A Beginner's Guide

Without them, the Hippies and the Punks would never have existed.

The Beat Generation were a radical group of American writers whose relaxed, gritty and candid writing inspired generations. In his chronicle of the origins, adventures, and inner workings of the Beat movement, Christopher Gair reveals how it sparked one of the most important revolutions in American literature, influencing everything from bebop to the Beastie Boys.

Christopher Gair is a Senior Lecturer in American Literature at the University of Glasgow. His books include The American Counterculture (2007).

"The special merit of Christopher Gair's supremely intelligent study is its awareness that the Beats still attract attention for extra literary reasons."

– American Studies, Journal of

"In this essential study, Professor Gair takes us beyond the cliches of the beatnik and non-conformity to establish how the Beat Generation came out of the political, economic, cultural, and ideological tensions of post-1945 America."

– Scott Lucas - Executive Director of Libertas: The Centre for the Study of US Foreign Policy

"For its breadth of coverage, including the international impact of the Beats, as well as for the perspecuity of its detailing, this book is both an excellent beginning point and a reference source to be returned to time and again."

– James Williams - Senior Managing Editor of Critical Inquiry

"Making a clear and coherent historical narrative out of the richly varied but often messy and disputed elements comprising the Beat Generation."

– Oliver Harris

"A comprehensive, lively and supremely approachable introduction to the turbulence and iconoclasm of mid-twentieth-century American writers and their lives."

– Geoff Ward - Dean of Arts at the University of London and author of The Writing Of America: Literatu

More books in this series: Beginner's Guides