In Off the Road and Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Mickey Harper explores the influence of the Beat Generation on the American counterculture during the period 1956-1973. He explores the rise and fall of various countercultural movements through an exploration of literature from this period. The three central texts he explores are Jack Kerouac’s On the Road (1957), Tom Wolfe’s The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (1968), and Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1971).
In the years following World War II, the Beat Generation began a literary revolution that changed American culture profoundly. Literature, music, fashion, art… none of it would ever be the same again. The fifties and sixties were a vibrant time of social upheaval, when art flourished against a turbulent backdrop. This optimism gave way to the cynicism of the seventies, and another cultural transition most famously portrayed by writer Hunter S. Thompson.
In this fun-yet-scholarly chapbook, Mickey Harper explores the history of the American counterculture from Kerouac to Thompson and all the landmarks in between.
Mickey Harper is a Modern Literature graduate from the University of York in the north of England. Through his Dad’s record collection, Mickey found an appreciation for the music of the sixties early in life, but it was in York researching for his Master’s thesis that he was able to explore his passion for the Beats and the sixties counterculture they kick-started in greater depth. This book is an extension of his MA studies and is Mickey’s first non-fiction publication.
This book will be released in November, 2017. E-mail editor [at] beatdom (dot) for advanced orders and review copies.
Cover art by Waylon Bacon
In the late spring of 1939, Weldon Kees, his wife Ann, and his parents, John…