Saturday, January 8, 2011

Cultural histories

The first of this genre that I read was David Halberstam's The Fifties. Now I can't get enough. One of the fascinations is the derivation of words or phrases. My latest read was 1959 The Year That Changed Everything by Fred Kaplan. And so I discovered the derivation of the word beatnik.Herb Caen,columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, on the day after Sputnik was launched, wrote that the beats(Kerouac and Ginsberg)werevas far out as Sputnik. And so dubbed them "beatniks".

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