In Search of the Next Kick

An insightful mini-biography of the icon of the “beat” generation ...


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Now & Then Authors

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Henry Adams

Henry Adams (1838-1918) was born in Boston of a distinguished family. After attending Harvard, he worked as secretary to his father, who had been appointed by President Lincoln in 1861 to be U.S. ambassador to England. Returning from London after the Civil War, Adams turned to journalism and, after appointment as professor of medieval history at Harvard, to the writing of history, including A History of the United States During the Administrations of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, The Degradation ...

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Read Henry Adams Grows Up by Henry Adams

John & Abigail Adams

John Adams was thirty-four years old in 1770 when he was elected as a Boston representative to the state legislature. As a young lawyer he had won a reputation for his principled defense of British soldiers who had been charged with murder when they fired on a mob in Boston earlier that year, killing five people in what became known as the Boston Massacre. His action in that case confirmed Adams’s belief in the rule of law and the right ...

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Read Dearest Friend by John & Abigail Adams

Michael Bar-Zohar and Nissim Mishal

One consequence of the Holocaust was the determination of many Jews to bring to justice those Nazi war criminals who had escaped after the war and were now in hiding throughout the world. Simon Wiesenthal, an Austrian survivor who had been forced to work in slave labor camps, dedicated his life to hunting down former Nazis and became famous for it. But the most celebrated accomplishment in this continuing campaign for retribution was the capture, trial, and execution of Adolf ...

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Read The Capture of Adolf Eichmann by Michael Bar-Zohar and Nissim Mishal

P.T. Barnum

Phineas Taylor Barnum (1810–1891) was born in Bethel, Connecticut, and as a young man owned a small business and founded a newspaper before moving to New York City. There he began a fabled career in entertainment, first with a variety show and then with a museum that he purchased and renamed for himself. He used the museum to promote hoaxes and human curiosities, such as General Tom Thumb, that kept his name before the public. After economic reversals due to ...

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Read The Art of Money-Getting by P.T. Barnum

Jeremy Bernstein

For nearly three decades Jeremy Bernstein wrote profiles of scientists for The New Yorker. Many were prizewinners, and his book Einstein was nominated for the National Book Award. Mr. Bernstein, a theoretical physicist, has also written Oppenheimer: Portrait of an Enigma; Hitler’s Uranium Club; Three Degrees Above Zero; Cranks, Quarks, and the Cosmos; The Merely Personal; and The Dawning of the Raj. He lives in New York City and Aspen, Colorado.

Read How Iran Got The Bomb by Jeremy Bernstein

Read Oppenheimer's Lives by Jeremy Bernstein

Read Mostly He Won by Jeremy Bernstein

Read At Los Alamos by Jeremy Bernstein

Steven Biel

Steven Biel is executive director of the Mahindra Humanities Center and senior lecturer on history and literature at Harvard University. An updated edition of his book Down with the Old Canoe: A Cultural History of the Titanic Disaster is published by W. W. Norton this year. His other books include American Gothic: A Life of America's Most Famous Painting and Independent Intellectuals in the United States, 1910–1945.

Read Bonnie Parker Writes a Poem by Steven Biel

Ann Birstein

Ann Birstein is the author of ten books, both fiction and nonfiction, which include the novels American Children and Summer Situations; an autobiography, What I Saw at the Fair; and a biography of her father, The Rabbi on Forty-Seventh Street. Her stories, essays, and reviews have appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, Vogue, and many other publications. Her grants and honors include a Fulbright Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Arts grant. She has taught and ...

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Read Jet Lag by Ann Birstein

Robert Brustein

National Medal of Arts winner Robert Brustein founded the American Repertory Theatre Company in 1979 and for twenty-two years was its artistic director as well as professor of English at Harvard University. Born in New York City, he studied at Amherst College, the Yale Drama School, and Columbia University. He later taught at Columbia and Yale, where he founded the Yale Repertory Theatre and was dean of the Yale School of Drama. For more than forty-five years Mr. Brustein served as ...

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Read The Revolt of Henrik Ibsen by Robert Brustein