Allen Ginsberg

The Best Minds of My Generation

The Best Minds of My Generation

A Literary History of the Beats


In 1977, twenty years after the publication of his landmark poem 'Howl' and Jack Kerouac's On the Road, Allen Ginsberg decided it was time to teach a course on the literary history of the Beat Generation. In The Best Minds of My Generation - a compilation of lectures from the course, expertly edited by renowned Beats scholar, Bill Morgan - Ginsberg gives us the convoluted origin story of the 'Beat' idea. Amongst anecdotes of meeting Kerouac, Burroughs and other figures for the first time, Ginsberg elucidates the importance of music, and particularly jazz rhythms, to Beat writing, discusses their many influences - literary, pharmaceutical and spiritual - and paints a portrait of a group who were leading a literary revolution. A unique document that works both as historical record and unconventional memoir, The Best Minds of My Generation is a vivid, personal and eye-opening look at one of the most important literary movements of the twentieth century.

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