This year marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of "On the Road," the defining book of the Beat Generation. Jack Kerouac wrote his masterpiece in one frenzied three-week period in 1951 on the infamous 119-foot scroll, which has been "on the road" touring the nation since 2004, slated to continue on through spring 2008. The scroll will also be published in its original, unedited version in book form for the very first time in 2007. Tying into the anniversary and the resurgence of the Beat movement in our collective cultural consciousness is our lavishly illustrated book "The Beats," a spectacular record of that most explosive period, when the conservative blandness of '50s America gave way to the artistic, social, and sexual liberation of the '60s. With over 200 illustrations, many rarely seen before, the book tells the story of the Beat Generation from its subterranean beginnings in New York and San Francisco to world-wide acclaim. Set against the backdrop of seedy student pads, smoky jazz cellars, and-most crucially-the open road, it's a story of a rebellion that challenged society's attitudes towards sex, drugs, and freedom of speech. Following the turbulent saga of Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Neal Cassady, and the other Beats via reckless love affairs, obscenity trials, murder cases, and press vilification, to media celebrity and the "Beatnik" craze that followed, their story represents the evolution of the counterculture from hipsters to hippies. Featuring a wealth of first-hand quotes, archive documentation, and exclusive interview material with Beat wife, muse, and chronicler Carolyn Cassady, "The Beats" is a timely celebration of a seminal-and often neglected-era in modern popular culture.
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