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Dharma Lion: A Critical Biography of Allen Ginsberg

Dharma Lion: A Critical Biography of Allen Ginsberg

by Michael A. Schumacher, Matthew A. Schumacher

Editorial Reviews

Ray Olson
It's not very critical in the sense of evaluating the great Beat poet's literary achievements. Nor is it critical in the sense of disapproving of its subject--indeed, it's quite the reverse. But it is one whale of a sourcebook for the events of the poet's life and its intersections with the lives of others, especially other writers, beginning with Allen's father, Louis Ginsberg, a gifted minor poet in his own right. After Louis come the entire circle of the Beats, most of the San Francisco renaissance poets, the anti-Vietnam War literati, some of the better-known 1960s rock stars and gay liberationists, and finally, the controversial Tibetan Buddhist leader Chogyam Trungpa, whom Schumacher avers replaced Jack Kerouac as Ginsberg's most influential associate. Writing with Ginsberg's full cooperation, Schumacher has produced a biography that is definitely critical in the sense of being indispensable to the history of post-World War II U.S. culture. That the book suffers from some clumsy prose and more detail than all but Ginsberg's most ardent students could care to know takes little away from its monumentality.

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St. Martin's Press
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5.83(w) x 9.01(h) x 1.77(d)

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