Beat Culture captures in a single volume six decades of cultural and countercultural expression in the arts and society. It goes beyond other works, which are often limited to Beat writers like William Burroughs, Charles Bukowski, and Michael McClure, to cover a wide range of musicians, painters, dramatists, filmmakers, and dancers who found expression in the Bohemian movement known as the Beat Generation.
Top scholars from the United States, England, Holland, Italy, and China analyze a vast array of topics including sexism, misogny, alcoholism, and drug abuse within Beat circles; the arrest of poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti on obscenity charges; Beat dress and speech; and the Beat “pad.” Through more than 250 entries, which travel from New York to New Orleans, from San Francisco to Mexico City, students, scholars, and those interested in popular culture will taste the era’s rampant freedom and experimentation, explore the impact of jazz on Beat writings, and discover how Beat behavior signaled events such as the sexual revolution, the peace movement, and environmental awareness.
- Over 250 A–Z entries on the most important people, places, movements, themes, and scholarship, including entries on related cultural movements outside the United States, which set the Beats in an international context
- A chronology highlighting artistic and historical events including the legendary poetry reading by Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, and others at the 6 Gallery
- Over 40 illustrations of Beat clothing, the Beat "pad," and the styles and tastes of the period
- Images of the most photographed literary group in history and maps of their travels, such as Jack Kerouac and his legendary freight train journeys across the United States and Mexico