The son of French-Canadian parents, Jack Kerouac rapidly showed potential as a talented football player but lost interest in the game and joined the merchant marine in the early 1940s. In 1951, in New York, the writer began working on what would become his iconic novel, On the Road. Released in 1957, it narrates a carnal, mystical and intellectual experience built by transcontinental adventures alongside several encounters with sulfurous and fascinating individuals. Promptly, Jack Kerouac and his book became the quintessential leaders of the Beats while an iconic master of countercultures and transgression - a favorite of longing teenagers reading feverishly his jazz inspired texts. Yet, the writer bore little resemblance with the myth the public and media had created. Timid and conservative, Jack Kerouac often declared ‘I am not a beatnik, I am a catholic’ and in the early 1960s, he had become a supporter of the war in Vietnam and a political right-winger. The American novelist who is often considered the father of the Beat generation and the grandfather of the Hippies had turned into a paranoid alcoholic and, ironically withdrew from the Beat culture - ‘It is not my fault that certain so-called bohemian elements have found in my writings something to hang their peculiar beatnik theories on’ - and strongly despised the Hippie movement.