Cultural Icons and Cultural Leadership
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Cultural Icons and Cultural Leadership

Edited by Peter Iver Kaufman and Kristin M.S. Bezio

Contributions to this book probe the contexts–both social and spiritual–from which select iconic figures emerge and discover how to present themselves as innovators and cultural leaders as well as draw material into forms that subsequent generations consider innovative or emblematic. The overall import of the book is to locate producers of culture such as authors, poets, singers, and artists as leaders both in their respective genres and of culture and society more broadly through the influence exerted by their works.
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Chapter 9: A different kind of cultural icon: Allen Ginsberg as a counterleader

Yaakov Ariel

Abstract

The ninth chapter discusses Allen Ginsberg’s direct, even aggressive, advocacy for freedom of expression in linguistic, artistic and sexual modes within the context of the countercultural revolution of the 1960s and 1970s. Through public speech and poetry, Ginsberg became an icon of the Beat generation and a proponent of Eastern spiritualism while retaining close—often conflicted—ties to his Jewish–American cultural heritage.

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