Monday, December 10, 2018

Review of "Beat, Beat, Beat," by William F. Brown

Review of
Beat, Beat, Beat, by William F. Brown

Three out of five stars
 Like the word “hippie” or “hippy” in the 1960s, the word “beatnik” was used to characterize a subculture of America in the 1950s. It was also ill-defined and turned into a stereotype by mass media that tends to simplify and caricature the serious aspects of the movement. Lost in the decades that have transpired since the sixties, both movements began as a traditional youth rejection of what they found as unacceptable aspects of American society. This book was part of the creation of the stereotype of the beatnik.
 The fifties was a time of the great communist red scare, extreme racism against all deemed “the other” and great social pressure to conform to the norms. There was great social change due to the use of the automobile and the rise of the suburbs. Some young people rebelled against this, to those that disliked this movement, they became the crude and socially leprous “beatniks.”
 This book pokes fun of that movement using exaggeration, mischaracterization and occasionally effective satire. First published in 1959, this book is interesting as a look back at what was a youthful rebellion against a society that had many flaws, some of which have been corrected over time. If you are capable of looking at these cartoons through the proper lenses, they will amuse you and demonstrate the power of cartoons to misinform.

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