The " Rolling Stone Book of the Beats: The Beat Generation and World Culture

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Beat culture is presented in this volume in words and pictures from the people who made it happen. It includes insights and reminiscences from many of the leading figures to provide a celebration of this chapter of social and literary history. The collection includes: essays written especially for the book by, among others, Carolyn Cassady, Hettie Jones, Ann Charters, David Amram, Stephen Davis, Douglas Brinkley, Anthony DeCurtis, Richard Hell; classic "Rolling Stone" pieces by William Burroughs, Hunter S. Thompson, Lester Bangs, Robert Palmer, Michael McClure and others; reminiscences by Ken Kesey, Kurt Vonnegut, Lou Reed, Anne Waldman, Norman Mailer, Bono and Graham Parker; and photographs by Allen Ginsberg, Gerard Malanga, Annie Leibovitz, Mellon and more.

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About the Author:

Holly George-Warren is the coeditor of numerous Rolling Stone titles, including The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll. Her writing appears in The Rolling Stone Book of Women in Rock and Traditions: New York, among other books. She has also written for a variety of publications, including Rolling Stone, The New York Times, The Oxford American, and the Village Voice.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Jottings and spottings from more than 60 writers, artists, academics, and pop-culture sages, most of them contributors to Rolling Stone magazine, that celebrate the romantic nihilism of the postwar Beat movement. The Beats were cool and don't we miss them, say Hunter S. Thompson, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, David Amram, and Carolyn Cassady (Neal's wife). The rumpled, pot-smoking, hard-drinking, pansexual trio of Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, and Jack Kerouac not only changed everything about American culture, according to Rolling Stone culture critics Greil Marcus, Mikal Gilmore, and Robert Palmer, but still informs a generation of snide, black-clad, biker-jacket-and-tight-pants rebels, represented in pointless essays from guitarist-turned-novelist Richard Hell, rocker Graham Parker, and actor Johnny Depp, who recalls that reading Howl ``left me babbling like an idiot, stunned that someone could regurgitate such honesty on paper.'' Some minor writings from the Big Three that were previously published in Rolling Stone (editor George-Warren proudly puffs the magazine as a promoter of Beat sensibilities) are lost among windy blasts of hagiography, no-longer-new journalism, and judgments that don't make much sense, such as Ginsberg buddy Michael McClure's revelation that the Beats were really ``the literary wing of the environmental movement.'' If it's hard to accept CUNY English professor John Tytells claim that Beat writing, abstract expressionist art, be-bop jazz, and Method acting are all manifestations of primal American rebelliousness, journalist Henry Cabot Beck assures us that Maynard G. Krebs, the feckless hipster played by actor Bob Denver in The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, was not what the Beats were all about. Cultural history under a syrupy glaze of self-righteous nostalgia, anecdotal noodlings, and creaky profundity. (40 b&w photos) -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Holly George-Warren
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