Mania: The Story of the Outraged and Outrageous Lives That Launched a Cultural Revolution

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Top Five Books LLC, 2013 - Literary Criticism - 464 pages
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By the time Lucien Carr stabbed David Kammerer to death on the banks of the Hudson River in August 1944, it was clear that the hard-partying teenage companion to Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Neal Cassady, and William S. Burroughs might need to reevaluate his life. A two-year stint in a reformatory straightened out the wayward youth but did little to curb the wild ways of his friends.

MANIA tells the story of this remarkable group—who strained against the conformity of postwar America, who experimented with drink, drugs, sex, jazz, and literature, and who yearned to be heard, to remake art and society in their own libertine image. What is more remarkable than the manic lives they led is that they succeeded—remaking their own generation and inspiring the ones that followed. From the breakthrough success of Kerouac's On the Road to the controversy of Ginsberg's Howl and Burroughs' Naked Lunch, the counterculture was about to go mainstream for the first time, and America would never be the same again.

Based on more than eight years’ writing and research, Ronald Collins and David Skover—authors of the highly acclaimed The Trials of Lenny Bruce—bring the stories of these artists, hipsters, hustlers, and maniacs to life in a dramatic, fast-paced, and often darkly comic narrative.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - sentimental13 - LibraryThing

I'm a longtime fan of the beats (I'm a poet and definitely wore the black beret in high school) so I was very intrigued by this book. It brought up a lot of the issues I'd heard about but not really ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - kaylayackamouih - LibraryThing

As someone who doesn't usually enjoy non-fiction, I was pleasantly surprised with Mania. I've been curious about the beat generation for years, but never knew where to start, and I am glad that ... Read full review


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About the author (2013)

Ron Collins and David Skover have been writing together for almost three decades. In addition to MANIA, they have also coauthored three other books together—The Death of Discourse (1996), The Trials of Lenny Bruce (2002), and On Dissent (2013).

Ron, who grew up in Southern California and teaches at the University of Washington Law School, lives in Bethesda, Maryland. David, who grew up in Wisconsin and teaches at Seattle University Law School, lives in Seattle. Both have written numerous scholarly articles (often together) in journals such as the Harvard Law Review, Stanford Law Review, and in the Supreme Court Review.


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