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Download Countering the Counterculture: Rereading Postwar American by Manuel Luis Martinez PDF

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By Manuel Luis Martinez

Rebelling opposed to bourgeois vacuity and taking their countercultural critique at the street, the Beat writers and artists have lengthy symbolized a spirit of freedom and radical democracy. Manuel Martinez bargains an eye-opening problem to this characterization of the Beats, juxtaposing them opposed to Chicano nationalists like Raul Salinas, Jose Montoya, Luis Valdez, and Oscar Acosta and Mexican migrant writers within the usa, like Tomas Rivera and Ernesto Galarza.     In an leading edge rereading of yankee radical politics and tradition of the Fifties and Sixties, Martinez uncovers reactionary, neoromantic, and occasionally racist traces within the Beats’ imaginative and prescient of freedom, and he brings to the fore the complicated stances of Latinos on player democracy and revolutionary tradition. He analyzes the ways in which Beats, Chicanos, and migrant writers conceived of and articulated social and political views. He contends that either the Beats’ severe individualism and the Chicano nationalists’ slender imaginative and prescient of citizenship are betrayals of the democratic perfect, yet that the migrant writers offered a notably radical and inclusive imaginative and prescient of democracy that used to be really countercultural.

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Extra info for Countering the Counterculture: Rereading Postwar American Dissent from Jack Kerouac to Tomás Rivera

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There is a marked contrast, however, between a vapid egalitarianism, which the Right claims results from a lack of competition, and an egalitarian impulse that affirms communal cooperation and is seen by the Left as countering the submissiveness that atomistic individualism produces. Liberty is sold as the ability to move, and equality is defined as mere legal access, without regard to outcome. Both of these notions are insufficient and draw more from notions of negative liberty, which is defined as the absence of constraint on the rights and preferences of the individual.

Free competition" and a rigid hierarchy are necessary for protecting the individual from absorption into an undifferentiated egalitarian body. The economic logic suggests the need for expansion and a vision of "differentiation" that in the r950s extended to marketing techniques. Even "liberal" social scientists such as David Riesman were looking for answers to undifferentiation in the market. Riesman went so far as to suggest that the rise of the conformist personality could be reversed by better marketing and increasing product choice.

This book, then, is in part an answer to Jose David Saldivar's call for a new approach to comparative cultural studies. In his book Border Matters: RemappingAmerican Cultural Studies, he discusses the necessity of reading a transgeographical variety ofliterary works and social critiques under a common rubric: "Not enough has been done to bring these texts to bear on the same subject, and juxtapose social/political analysis in any direct way ... In my view, the greatest shortcoming of the work being done on the American canon is not its lack of theoretical rigor, but its parochial vision.

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