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Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72…

Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72 (original 1973; edition 2006)

by Hunter S. Thompson

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2,262232,832 (4)35
Title:Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72
Authors:Hunter S. Thompson
Info:Grand Central Publishing (2006), Paperback, 496 pages
Collections:Your library, To read (inactive)

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Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72 by Hunter S. Thompson (1973)


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Thompson is always capable of entertaining but this book is pretty thin on insight. By this stage Thompson and his epic ingestion of every intoxicant that came his way was the centre of anything he wrote - even as presidential candidates were being selected and history made around him. As a result, Thompson cannot explain why anything that happens does so. He raves about Nixon to an intense degree, assures us that McGovern is a wonder of American politics then does a load of drugs. When he sobers up to see Nixon has trounced McGovern in a landslide he can offer no explanation because he was too cained to see it happening. So he goes back to his drugs and files another journalists copy.

As I say, I read this book as a teenager and thought it was a hoot. It is, but it doesn't add much to your understanding of American politics. ( )
1 vote JohnPhelan | Nov 9, 2015 |
I turned nine during 1972, living in the English Midlands, so my recollections of the American Presidential campaign of that year are conspicuous by their paucity. If anyone had asked me during the summer of that year who Richard Nixon was, I might well have replied that I thought he was king of America. Endearingly misguided, perhaps, though it become evident from this collection of Hunter S Thompson's contemporaneous columns for 'Rolling Stone' that he believed that Nixon himself would have agreed with me. [For any regular viewers of Fox News, please note that Richard Nixon was NEVER King of America!].

These pieces are among Thompson's finest - resonant with his rage and increasing disbelief at the vagaries and hypocrisies of politicians and the huge sums of money thrown at the campaigns. It is not clear whom he despised more - President Nixon himself or Hubert Humphrey, for whom his most vitriolic diatribes are reserved. George McGovern, who would eventually secure the Democratic nomination, emerges as a figure worthy of respect. Thompson clearly didn't endorse the whole of his campaign but, let's be honest, it is unlikely that any candidate for any public office who could tick every box in Thompson's manifesto requests could secure backing from the more orthodox political cognoscenti.

More than forty years on these pieces still bring the salient issues to life, and offer a sharp insight into American social history, and the already gaping chasm between 'normal' people's lives and those of the politicians professing to represent them. ( )
  Eyejaybee | Mar 16, 2015 |
It might not be great literature, but it certainly sums up much of the boomer take on the election that gave the world "the Revenge of Richard Nixon," There's a certain amount of grandstanding in this trip to the hyper-atmosphere of the American system, but it's a book I recommend to British and Canadian friends when they ask "why are the Americans like that?" Since 1978, the
USA has certainly seemed to outsiders that the USA has been trapped in a narcissistic down-ward spiral involving increasing violence on the international front. Very dangerous for the only functioning biosphere we know of. And this is how Americans choose their leaders, with a lot of mumbo-jumbo, and media madness. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Jul 6, 2014 |
Having not read Thompson previously, I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but this was an incredible read. Being just old enough to barely remember all of these events, it was a bit of a refresher, but nothing like this ever made the evening news. There are, to me, striking similarities to the 2008 election. I just hope that there is not the backlash in 2012 that we saw in 1980...if so, the Mayans might have been right. ( )
  ScoutJ | Mar 31, 2013 |
A bit disjointed but excellent period piece for 1972 campaign ( )
  JBGUSA | Mar 31, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hunter S. Thompsonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Steadman, RalphIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0446698229, Paperback)

With the same drug-addled alacrity and jaundiced wit that made Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas a hilarious hit, Hunter S. Thompson turns his savage eye and gonzo heart to the repellent and seductive race for President. He deconstructs the 1972 campaigns of idealist George McGovern and political hack Richard Nixon, ending up with a political vision that is eerily prophetic. A classic!

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:35 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

After popularizing Gonzo journalism with Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Hunter S. Thompson turned his drug-fueled wit and savage insight to the race for President. With On the Campaign Trail '72, Thompson deconstructs the 1972 campaigns of George McGovern and Richard Nixon, laying bare a political process that is both seductive and utterly repellent.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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