Drugs and the 'Beats'

Author: John Long

ISBN 1-58939-783-5 (softcover)

270 pages

In this fascinating and informative exploration of the relationship between drugs and literature, the reader will discover the lives and writings of three celebrated "beat" writers: Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and William S. Burroughs.

In examining the drugs they used and the consequent effects on how they lived, what they wrote about, and how they wrote, the author offers an intriguing study of the role of drugs in the creative process. No literary movement had ever explored such a variety of drugs (heroin, morphine, alcohol, amphetamines, marijuana, LSD, etc.) with such such intensity as these three iconic writers.

As precursors to and models for a whole generation of "flower children," they had a profound impact not only in literature but on the whole of society.


Born in Chicago in 1941, John Long graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1963. He went on to study law at Stanford, at a time when nearby San Francisco had become the mecca of the Beat Generation.

As a student during the turbulent sixties, he had first-hand knowledge of the drug scene and the "hippie" phenomenon, and a continuing interest in these visionary writers. Though the author moved to France permanently in 1972, his interest in the beatniks never waned, and they became the subject of his doctoral thesis, accorded highest honors at the Sorbonne in 1980.

Category: Non-Fiction, Pop Culture, World Events

Type: books

Vendor: John Long

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