Marty Beckerman is an American journalist, humorist, and author. He is a native of Anchorage, Alaska, and started his career with The Anchorage Daily News between 1998 and 2000, when he was still a junior and sophomore at Steller Secondary School. He has since written for The New York Times, Wired, Playboy, Salon, Maxim, the Daily Beast, Discover, the Atlantic, and other publications. He is a former editor at Esquire.
Beckerman wrote his first book at age 16. He is known for the professional attention he received from the literary community at a relatively young age. More recently, he is known for his bestselling book The Heming Way: How to Unleash the Booze-Inhaling, Animal-Slaughtering, War-Glorifying, Hairy-Chested, Retro-Sexual Legend Within... Just Like Papa!, a parody of Ernest Hemingway.
Death to All Cheerleaders
In 2000, Beckerman compiled many of his newspaper columns published by the Anchorage Daily News into Death to All Cheerleaders: One Adolescent Journalist's Cheerful Diatribe Against Teenage Plasticity. Although published independently, it gained national attention. When the book was published, he was still a sophomore in high school. In spite of his youth, his work was compared to that of Hunter S. Thompson, Lenny Bruce, and Pulitzer-prize winning author Dave Barry.
Following the publication of Death to Cheerleaders, Beckerman gained a patron in John Strausbaugh, contributor and editor of the New York Press. An October 5, 2000 review of the book by the Press stated, "Marty is a very precocious smart-ass with a mean streak of cynicism."
While living in New York to intern at the New York Press, Beckerman met a literary agent who began contacting publishing houses on his behalf. They ended up making a connection with MTV Books, and working jointly with Simon & Schuster, who published Beckerman's second book.
In 2004, Generation S.L.U.T.: A Brutal Feel-Up Session with Today's Sex-Crazed Adolescent Populace was published by Simon & Schuster and MTV Books. S.L.U.T. is Beckerman's acronym for "Sexually Liberated Urban Teens". This, Beckerman's second book, is a critically acclaimed exploration into the sex lives of modern teens. It describes the problems and pressures with which teens of this modern era are constantly bombarded. The success of S.L.U.T. brought Beckerman to the national and international literary arena while he was still a 20-year-old student in his junior year at American University.
When asked whether the book is a work of fiction or nonfiction, Beckerman replied that it is both. "The core of the book is the novella, but then I've got all the statistics, quotes from real kids, news clippings and other nonfiction elements. So I'm making the emotional case with my fictional characters, and the journalistic case with the hard numbers and quotes." The book has been translated into numerous languages. It was notably blurbed by Hunter S. Thompson, who said of S.L.U.T, "Good work, you morbid little bastard," which Beckerman considers the greatest compliment of his career.
In September 2008, the Disinformation Company published Beckerman's third book, Dumbocracy: Adventures with the Loony Left, the Rabid Right and Other American Idiots. Journalist Daniel Kurtzman, who has been widely cited as an expert on political humor by major media outlets around the country, recommended and proclaimed on his political humor guide on About.com that Dumbocracy was one of the top 25 political humor books of all time, comparing the novel to the works of Dave Barry, P.J. O'Rourke, Bill Maher, Al Franken, Jon Stewart, and Stephen Colbert. The Guardian called it "amusing, and often laugh-out-loud... Beckerman's research is, to put it in very clear terms, exceptional."
Ralph Bernardo, managing editor of Disinformation, said of Dumbocracy that Beckerman spent "four years with foot soldiers of the Left and Right... and delivers a searing, hilarious indictment of the True Believer mentality." Andrew Sullivan of The Atlantic Magazine said of an excerpt from the book, "This is called thinking. And if more people — on both sides — were prepared to acknowledge their own shifts of view and to explain and examine exactly why they have changed with the times, our public discourse would be immeasurably improved."
The Heming Way
In 2011, Beckerman published The Heming Way: How to Unleash the Booze-Inhaling, Animal-Slaughtering, War-Glorifying, Hairy-Chested, Retro-Sexual Legend Within... Just Like Papa! It received praise from USA Today ("a laugh-out-loud parody") and Kirkus Reviews ("a funny collection"). It reached #1 on Amazon.com's parody bestseller list, and Saint Martin's Press released an expanded edition in 2012.
Beckerman has held divergent political positions. According to an article he wrote for Salon, he was initially a "passionate liberal" upon entering college, as was his girlfriend. As he progressed through his education, he began rebelling against other strong liberals in college, including professors who pushed their "utopian and hypersensitive politics". Beckerman became a strident hard-right conservative for a time, notably when writing and promoting Generation S.L.U.T. This shift in his political outlook and advocacy caused confusion among his fellow students on campus, and his liberal girlfriend chose to end their relationship.
Beckerman says that he also acquired "a finger-wagging puritan bent, which made absolutely no sense for a 20-year-old guy who was getting laid and intoxicated on a steady basis." By 2008, after disputes with friends and family, and a long running email conversation with a psychologist, he moderated his position to a more laid-back liberalism.
- Beckerman, Marty. Death to All Cheerleaders: One Adolescent Journalist's Cheerful Diatribe Against Teenage Plasticity, Infected Press, 2000, 200 pages. ISBN 978-0-9700629-0-1
- Beckerman, Marty. Generation S.L.U.T. Online, Simon & Schuster, 2004, 224 pages. ISBN 978-0-7434-8036-9
- Beckerman, Marty. Dumbocracy: Adventures with the Loony Left, the Rabid Right and Other American Idiots The Disinformation Company, 2008, 224 pages. ASIN: B001NEKIGS
- Beckerman, Marty. The Heming Way: How to Unleash the Booze-Inhaling, Animal-Slaughtering, War-Glorifying, Hairy-Chested, Retro-Sexual Legend Within, Just Like Papa!, Saint Martin's Press, 2012, 224 pages.
- "Marty Beckerman is Stronger Than You". Popmatters.com. Retrieved August 12, 2010.
- "Marty Beckerman | Disinformation". Disinfo.com. Retrieved August 12, 2010.
- "Esquire Magazine – USA mens lifestyle news & opinion magazine". Mondotimes.com. Retrieved August 12, 2010.
- Michael Schaub. "An Interview with Marty Beckerman". Bookslut. Retrieved August 12, 2010.
- "Death to All Cheerleaders : One Adolescent Journalist's Cheerful Diatribe Against Teenage Plasticity (9780970062901): Marty Beckerman: Books". Amazon.com. Retrieved August 12, 2010.
- "Generation S.L.U.T.: A Brutal Feel-up Session with Today's Sex-Crazed Adolescent". Amazon.com. Retrieved August 12, 2010.
- Generation S.L.U.T.: A Brutal Feel ... – Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved August 12, 2010.
- "Top 25 Political Humor Books of All Time". Politicalhumor.about.com. June 17, 2010. Retrieved August 12, 2010.
- "Marty Beckerman". Disinfo.com. Retrieved August 12, 2010.
- "Marty Beckerman's Dumbocracy". Disinfo.com. July 23, 2008. Retrieved August 12, 2010.
- "Dumbocracy: Adventures with the Loony Left, the Rabid Right, and Other American Idiots". Amazon.com. Retrieved August 12, 2010.
- Bee, Samantha (November 10, 2009). "Marty Beckerman: Recovering Republican". Salon.com. Retrieved August 12, 2010.