Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Burroughs in the 1980s
A section devoted to the beat generation at a bookstore in Stockholm, Sweden
William S. Burroughs' childhood home on Pershing Place in St. Louis
William S. Burroughs and James Grauerholz in the alley behind the Jazzhaus in Lawrence, Kansas (1996)
Burroughs and David Woodard with Brion Gysin Dreamachine, 1997

William Seward Burroughs II (February 5, 1914 – August 2, 1997) was an American writer and visual artist, widely considered a primary figure of the Beat Generation and a major postmodern author who influenced popular culture and literature.

- William S. Burroughs

He considered himself a link between the Beat Generation of the 1950s and the hippies of the 1960s.

- Ken Kesey

Allen Ginsberg's Howl (1956), William S. Burroughs' Naked Lunch (1959), and Jack Kerouac's On the Road (1957) are among the best known examples of Beat literature.

- Beat Generation

Neal Cassady, as the driver for Ken Kesey's bus Furthur, was the primary bridge between these two generations.

- Beat Generation

Between 1974 and 1980, Kesey published six issues of Spit in the Ocean, a literary magazine that featured excerpts from an unfinished novel (Seven Prayers by Grandma Whittier, an account of Kesey's grandmother's struggle with Alzheimer's disease) and contributions from intellectuals including Margo St. James, Kate Millett, Stewart Brand, Saul-Paul Sirag, Jack Sarfatti, Paul Krassner and William S. Burroughs.

- Ken Kesey

Prominent admirers of Burroughs' work have included British critic and biographer Peter Ackroyd, the rock critic Lester Bangs, the philosopher Gilles Deleuze and the authors J. G. Ballard, Angela Carter, Jean Genet, William Gibson, Alan Moore, Kathy Acker and Ken Kesey.

- William S. Burroughs
Lawrence Ferlinghetti

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Allen Ginsberg

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American poet and writer.

American poet and writer.

First edition cover of Ginsberg's landmark poetry collection, Howl and Other Poems(1956)
Ginsberg with his partner, poet Peter Orlovsky. Photo taken in 1978
Portrait with Bob Dylan, taken in 1975
Allen Ginsberg greeting A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada at San Francisco International Airport. January 17, 1967
The Mantra-Rock Dance promotional poster featuring Allen Ginsberg along with leading rock bands.
Allen Ginsberg, 1979
Protesting at the 1972 Republican National Convention
Allen Ginsberg, Timothy Leary, and John C. Lilly in 1991

As a student at Columbia University in the 1940s, he began friendships with William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac, forming the core of the Beat Generation.

Later in his life, Ginsberg formed a bridge between the beat movement of the 1950s and the hippies of the 1960s, befriending, among others, Timothy Leary, Ken Kesey, Hunter S. Thompson, and Bob Dylan.

Underwater atomic test "Baker", Bikini Atoll, Pacific Ocean, 1946

Counterculture of the 1960s

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Anti-establishment cultural phenomenon that developed throughout much of the Western world between the mid-1960s and the mid-1970s.

Anti-establishment cultural phenomenon that developed throughout much of the Western world between the mid-1960s and the mid-1970s.

Underwater atomic test "Baker", Bikini Atoll, Pacific Ocean, 1946
Free Speech activist Mario Savio on the steps of Sproul Hall, University of California, Berkeley, 1966
King's "I Have a Dream" speech, given in front of the Lincoln Memorial during the 1963 March on Washington
A family watches television, c. 1958
Anti-war protesters
Carnaby Street, London, 1966
Oz number 31 cover
Three radical icons of the sixties. Encounter between Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre and Ernesto "Che" Guevara in Cuba, in 1960
Yellow Power activist Richard Aoki at a Black Panther Party rally.
Herbert Marcuse, associated with the Frankfurt School of critical theory, was an influential libertarian socialist thinker on the radical student movements of the era and philosopher of the New Left
Eugene McCarthy, anti-war candidate for the Democratic nomination for the US presidency in 1968
A sign pointing to an old fallout shelter in New York City
The cover of an early Whole Earth Catalog shows the Earth as seen by astronauts traveling back from the Moon
Frisbee and alternative 1960s disc sports icon Ken Westerfield
A small part of the crowd of 400,000, after the rain, Woodstock, United States, August 1969
The Jimi Hendrix Experience performs for the Dutch television show Fenklup in March 1967
The Doors performing for Danish television in 1968
Recording "Give Peace a Chance". Left to right: Rosemary Leary (face not visible), Tommy Smothers (with back to camera), John Lennon, Timothy Leary, Yoko Ono, Judy Marcioni and Paul Williams, June 1, 1969.
The plaque honoring the victims of the August 1970 Sterling Hall bombing, University of Wisconsin, Madison.
A small segment of the "Wall" at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial listing the names of the nearly 60,000 American war dead
Jerry Rubin, University at Buffalo, March 10, 1970

The popularization of LSD outside of the medical world was hastened when individuals such as Ken Kesey participated in drug trials and liked what they saw.

The Pranksters created a direct link between the 1950s Beat Generation and the 1960s psychedelic scene; the bus was driven by Beat icon Neal Cassady, Beat poet Allen Ginsberg was on board for a time, and they dropped in on Cassady's friend, Beat author Jack Kerouac—though Kerouac declined to participate in the Prankster scene.

William S. Burroughs (1914–1997) (author)