Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

The Cambridge Companion to the Beats

$88.99 (P)

Part of Cambridge Companions to Literature

Steven Belletto, William Lawlor, Jonah Raskin, Regina Weinreich, Nancy M. Grace, Erik Mortenson, Kurt Hemmer, Oliver Harris, Brenda Knight, Hilary Holladay, Ronna C. Johnson, Polina Mackay, A. Robert Lee, Todd. F. Tietchen, John Whalen-Bridge, Kirby Olson, Michael Hrebeniak, David Sterritt
View all contributors
  • Date Published: February 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107184459

$ 88.99 (P)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Paperback, eBook

Looking for an examination copy?

If you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • The Cambridge Companion to the Beats offers an in-depth overview of one of the most innovative and popular literary periods in America, the Beat era. The Beats were a literary and cultural phenomenon originating in New York City in the 1940s that reached worldwide significance. Although its most well-known figures are Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and William S. Burroughs, the Beat movement radiates out to encompass a rich diversity of figures and texts that merit further study. Consummate innovators, the Beats had a profound effect not only on the direction of American literature, but also on models of socio-political critique that would become more widespread in the 1960s and beyond. Bringing together the most influential Beat scholars writing today, this Companion provides a comprehensive exploration of the Beat movement, asking critical questions about its associated figures and arguing for their importance to postwar American letters.

    • Challenges the idea that the Beats were merely a small group of friends, drawing attention to a wide range of figures and texts associated with the Beat movement, including women, writers of color, and non-US writers
    • Presents well-known Beat writers such as Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and William S. Burroughs in new contexts, re-evaluating the place of Beat writers in twentieth-century literature and culture by moving readers away from understanding these writers solely through their biographies
    • The Companion format helps students and other readers understand the importance of the Beat writers by giving a much broader sense of the Beat Generation, reflecting their complex relationship to US literature and culture
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'This Companion locates an understanding of the Beats beyond the familiar, identifying a wide range of writers and approaches to writing which are associated with the term Beat. This factor alone makes the volume worthwhile for any reader looking to read beyond the 'canonical' Beat authors … As one would expect from a series as authoritative as the Cambridge Companions, every chapter is informed by up-to-date scholarship, written in an approachable style and is fully referenced.' Linda Kemp, Languages and Literature

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2017
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107184459
    • length: 332 pages
    • dimensions: 236 x 159 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.58kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: the Beat half-century Steven Belletto
    1. Were Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and William S. Burroughs a generation? William Lawlor
    2. Beatniks, hippies, yippies, feminists, and the ongoing American counterculture Jonah Raskin
    3. Locating a Beat aesthetic Regina Weinreich
    4. The Beats and literary history: myths and realities Nancy M. Grace
    5. Allen Ginsberg and Beat poetry Erik Mortenson
    6. Five ways of being Beat, circa 1958–9 Steven Belletto
    7. Jack Kerouac and the Beat novel Kurt Hemmer
    8. William S. Burroughs: Beating postmodernism Oliver Harris
    9. Memory babes: Joyce Johnson and Beat memoir Brenda Knight
    10. Beat writers and criticism Hilary Holladay
    11. Beats and gender Ronna C. Johnson
    12. Beats and sexuality Polina Mackay
    13. The Beats and race A. Robert Lee
    14. Ethnographies and networks: on Beat transnationalism Todd. F. Tietchen
    15. Buddhism and the Beats John Whalen-Bridge
    16. Beat as beatific: Gregory Corso's Christian poetics Kirby Olson
    17. Jazz and the Beat Generation Michael Hrebeniak
    18. Beats and visual culture David Sterritt
    Further reading.

  • Editor

    Steven Belletto, Lafayette College, Pennsylvania
    Steven Belletto is Associate Professor of English at Lafayette College, Pennsylvania. He is author of No Accident, Comrade: Chance and Design in Cold War American Narratives (2012), co-editor of American Literature and Culture in an Age of Cold War: A Critical Reassessment (2012) and editor of the volume American Literature in Transition, 1950–1960 (Cambridge, forthcoming). He is also the author of numerous articles on post-1945 American literature and culture that have appeared in journals such as American Literature, American Quarterly, ELH, and Twentieth-Century Literature. From 2011 to 2016 he was Associate Editor for the journal Contemporary Literature, for which he is currently co-editor.


    Steven Belletto, William Lawlor, Jonah Raskin, Regina Weinreich, Nancy M. Grace, Erik Mortenson, Kurt Hemmer, Oliver Harris, Brenda Knight, Hilary Holladay, Ronna C. Johnson, Polina Mackay, A. Robert Lee, Todd. F. Tietchen, John Whalen-Bridge, Kirby Olson, Michael Hrebeniak, David Sterritt

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×
warning icon

Turn stock notifications on?

You must be signed in to your Cambridge account to turn product stock notifications on or off.

Sign in Create a Cambridge account arrow icon

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.