When Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs met at Columbia University in the 1940's, they spawned a movement, then called the Beats, that set precedents for the political, hippie and spiritual movements of the 1960's and 70's.
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He will be remembered for his words and sentences, for his anti-authoritarian views and his coining of the pacifist slogan ' flower power ', his belief that the human mind could unlock the manacles it had forged for itself.
It is the example of Walt Whitman together with the force and the urgency of William Blake which possessed Allen Ginsberg in forging his best poetry, a poetry which will survive for its startling and unique report on human experience.
Alastair Wisker, Ruskin College
First published 09 March 2003
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