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“Mortenson’s revisionist study keeps a steady eye on the historical and cultural milieu of Beat writers, drawing on critical theory, feminism, and race/ethnicity studies to explore the movement’s larger impact on U.S. culture during the Cold War. This is a brilliant contribution to cultural poetics.”
—Michael Davidson, author of Guys Like Us: Citing Masculinity in Cold War Poetics
About the Author
Erik Mortenson is an assistant professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Koç University in Istanbul, Turkey. He has published essays on the Beats in a number of journals and in several books.
Throughout the years I've read countless works by and about the Beats. I thought I understood their motivations. The beauty of this book is it helps both the casual reader and the academic re-examine the movement's focus on immediacy. Mortenson clearly knows his stuff, and while reading it I was often surprised at how much I misunderstood these writers and thinkers. Mortenson includes all the heavy-hitters as well as the more underground players. The book also helped me see the movement from a different angle I didn't expect. It's invaluable to anyone studying this important time in American history, and it's an important resource for those focusing on the cultural significance of these writers. I highly recommend it.
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