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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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2,246222,853 (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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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 |
HST is a hell of a writer, not just for his drugs. Few others make journalism so venomous, and political squabbles so interesting.

It's rather fitting that this is the 40th anniversary edition, re-released in one of the most spectacular train wrecks in years. One wonders, if HST lived, what he would have had to say about this pack of loonies.

HST, as cynical as he wants to be, still has a bit of idealism buried in him somewhere, that a Democrat lesser evil will prevail over the tyranny of Nixon. But his coverage of the convention and the November trouncing is an exercise in despair.

Not dated at all, except for a fee slurs. His style is his own. Makes you feel rage instead of cynicism. ( )
1 vote HadriantheBlind | Mar 30, 2013 |
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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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