Overview     Purchase

What critics are saying about The Beats: A Literary History:

“magisterial and encyclopedic”

Loren Glass, The Los Angeles Review of Books (full review here)

“Fresh on the scene with outstanding readings of key work, and valuable inclusion of an army of poets and marginalized, artsy types associated with the beat movement . . .Belletto makes a good case for why Beat writing remains relevant, vital. . . . Belletto’s criticism rises to the level of its own art.”

Regina Weinreich, The Brooklyn Rail (full review here)

“This is a wonderful book. . . . Belletto’s masterfully narrated history is filled with sensitive, respectful appraisals of writers whose work has been widely misunderstood if not largely ignored. I expect that The Beats: A Literary History . . . will remain indispensable reading on the subject for a long time to come.”

Hassan Melehy, ASAP/J (full review here)

“this account of Beat’s cultural narrative will assuredly rank among the best. . . . a major contribution. Belletto’s re-telling of Beat cultural history deserves every recognition, truly fresh boots on the ground.”

A. Robert Lee, European Beat Studies Network (full review here)

“Belletto has created a book that is extremely relevant and timely—a much-needed overview of Beat writing, it provides a general introduction while simultaneously making important claims that deserve further exploration. . . . There is little doubt that The Beats: A Literary History will quickly become an indispensable text for anyone trying to come to terms with that difficult-to-define concept, Beat.”
Erik Mortenson, Modern Fiction Studies


“[A] grounded, well-researched study, . . . brimming with detail and anecdote.”

David Gewanter, Times Higher Education (full review here)

“a valuable contribution to the field as it deepens our understanding of the breadth and depth of the literary interconnections within the movement.”
Georgia Woodroffe, U.S Studies Online (full review here)


“Belletto has made another important contribution to Beat Studies. [The Beats: A Literary History] succeeds in its aim by winding in a loosely chronological sense from what could be termed the start to somewhere approximating the end of the Beat era, discussing the literature of Beat and Beat-associated writers through interesting interconnections in their works.”
David S. Wills, Beatdom.com (full review here)


“A scholarly and trenchant contribution to Beat studies. Highly recommended.”
W.M. Gargan, Choice