Books, Beatniks, and the Beatles: A Millennial’s Thoughts on The Road Trip that Changed the World

May 24, 2012 No Comments
By: Natalie Myers, freelance social media marketing specialist, and managing editor of the River North Fiction Blog

In my work with Moody Publishers, I occasionally have the opportunity to do publicity for a book that truly impacts the way I see the world. The Road Trip that Changed the World is one such book. As a twenty-something millennial with friends who love the Beatles, read Kerouac and Ginsberg, and wear Buddy Holly glasses, I’ve seen the ongoing impact the era of the beatniks has left on my generation. While articles such as RELEVANT Magazine’s controversial fall 2011 article, “(Almost) Everyone’s Doing It,” explore what is going on in my generation, rarely do I find a source of knowledge that answers the deeper questions as to what makes my generation acts the way it does.

The Road Trip that Changed the World steps forward to answer many questions about my generation. Mark Sayers uses this book to explore the influence of beatnik writing and living on our culture today—particularly through the lens of Kerouac’s On the Road. Mark does a great job exploring issues such as:

  • Why America is addicted to leaving
  • How the Beatles (sort of) killed the church
  • How Kerouac and Freud made some sins cool for Christians
  • Why we want to see people humiliated on TV

A running theme throughout Road Trip is the idea of the “culture of the road,” first perpetuated by Kerouac and friends, and now integrated into our everyday lives in ways we can’t always identify. I have personally witnessed friends shafted by significant others afraid of commitment and unwilling to grow up. I’ve watched other friends fearfully evade “settling down” in life while clinging to the world they are running from through an ever-present cell phone. I have friends who have been seriously injured by a culture that shoves intimacy and discipleship aside for the high of instant gratification.

Mark Sayers uses Road Trip not as a solution for the problems of my generation, but as an analysis of what is really going on with us. I pray that through his insights, we as Christians will recognize the influence our culture can have on us, for better or for worse.

Why do you think it’s helpful to be able to discern what is influencing us, in culture, church, and community?

P.S. You can read the 1st chapter of The Road Trip that Changed the World right here on our Scribd page! 

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