The Best Minds of My Generation


In the summer of 1977, the legendary American poet Allen Ginsberg began teaching a course on the literary history of the Beat Generation, which he saw as an opporunity to make a ‘once and for all’ record of the iconic movement. This book brings together Ginsberg’s lectures on this seminal movement.

ISBN: 9780141399010 Author: Ginsberg, Allen Publisher: Penguin Classics Publication Date: 5th April 2018 Imprint: Penguin Classics Cover: Paperback Dewey: 810.90054 (edition:23) Pages: 496 Language: English Readership: General - Trade / Code: K Category: Subjects: , ,

A unique history of the Beats, in the words of the movement’s most central member, Allen Ginsberg, based on a seminal series of his lectures

In 1977, twenty years after the publication of his landmark poem ‘Howl’, Allen Ginsberg decided it was time to teach a course on the literary history of the Beat Generation – partly to preserve his own memories of those years. The Best Minds of My Generation presents the best of these candid, intimate and illuminating lectures, revealing Kerouac, Burroughs and the rest of the Beats as Ginsberg knew them: friends, confidantes, literary mentors and fellow visionaries in a group who started a revolution.

‘Marvellous … spellbinding … preserving intact the story of the literary movement Ginsberg led, promoted and never ceased to embody’ The New York Times Book Review

‘An awesome exhaustive feat … fascinatingly readable’ Sunday Times

‘Astonishingly intimate … Full of penetrating insight and fascinating literary gossip, the book is a major contribution to the core Beat canon … situates the Beats in cultural history in a way that no other exploration of their work does’ San Francisco Chronicle

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