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
Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997) was an American poet, best known for his iconic Howl, one of the most widely read and translated poems of the century, for celebrating his friends of the Beat Generation and for attacking what he saw as the destructive forces of materialism and conformity in the United States at the time. He was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, was awarded the medal of Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture, and won the National Book Award for The Fall of America.