The fight to publish Allen Ginsberg’s ‘Howl’


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“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness.”

So begins Allen Ginsberg’s famous poem “Howl.” You might be familiar with Allen Ginsberg. You might be familiar with the poem. But chances are you don’t know about the efforts in San Francisco in 1957 to censor the poem.

On today’s episode of So to Speak, we discuss those efforts with distinguished First Amendment scholar and recurring So to Speak guest Ronald K.L. Collins. He is the co-author, with David M. Skover, of the new book, “The People v. Ferlinghetti: The Fight to Publish Allen Ginsberg’s HOWL,” which recounts the story behind the publication of “Howl” and the courageous fight against its censorship.

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