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The Head in Football
The former player Michael Oriard brings a unique perspective to this informed discussion of the history ...
The Cause and Cure of Hysteria
Senator Joseph McCarthy’s anti-Communist crusade prompts Harry Truman to reflect on the nature of demagoguery.
The Capture of Adolf Eichmann
The behind-the-scenes story of the capture of Adolf Eichmann by the Israeli Secret Service.
The Spark in the Tinderbox
A gripping account of the murder of the archduke Franz Ferdinand that triggered World War I.
The Battle of Britain
History’s version of the Battle of Britain, a key moment in World War II, is gallant ...
The Apprenticeship of Alger Hiss
Bruce Craig draws on fresh sources for this account of Alger Hiss's early years, when he ...
The Siege of Blair Mountain
A gripping account of the 1920s conflict between mine workers and their bosses in West Virginia.
The March to the Sea
General William T. Sherman describes his march from Atlanta to Savannah in 1864, the prelude to ...
Visiting Europe’s most unhappy places, Ann Birstein offers a moving perspective on a tragic people trapped ...
High and Tight
On the 100th anniversary of his birth, Ray Robinson remembers ...
In Search of the Next Kick
Jack Kerouac and the Making of the Beat Generation
by John Tytell
The appearance of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road in 1957 announced the entry of the the “beat” generation into the world of American letters. Kerouac’s autobiographical, “spontaneous prose,” a kind of novelistic composition also reflected in the work of his beat compatriots Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso, burst onto a fifties America supposedly safe, stuffy, and conservative (though in retrospect there is considerable evidence to the contrary). Here was a new and wildly disorganized view of life that seemed to extol amorality and indulge in self-gratification. Kerouac’s characters are in search of some sort of spiritual truth—and it may be connected to drugs, drink, sex, jazz, or fast cars. John Tytell, one of the great chroniclers of the beat writers, here offers an insightful mini-biography of Jack Kerouac, certainly the icon of the beat generation and a writer of puzzling complexity.
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