Starting with Allen Ginsberg and ending with Charlie Parker, Sam Cornish takes us on a whirlwind tour of some of the livelier segments of 1950s and early ’60s American culture. With non-stop energy, syncopated rhythms, and a fast pace that keeps you humming as you turn the pages, Cornish visits a wide array of writers, musicians, and films, stopping along the way to visit local poetry scenes and pay tribute to the homeless and poor. Calling on Jack Kerouac, Langston Hughes, Marlon Brando, Miles Davis and a host of others, Cornish makes us feel the excitement of those times, even as he and his companions absorb the complex and often disturbing history of what he aptly calls “My Young America.” — Martha Collins
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