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Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail by…
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Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail (original 1973; edition 1985)

by Hunter S. Thompson

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2,473253,771 (4.02)41
Member:Scrub
Title:Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail
Authors:Hunter S. Thompson
Info:Grand Central Publishing (1985), Mass Market Paperback, 512 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:Non-Fiction, Politics, HST

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

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» See also 41 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
Ahh, Hunter S., “The first journalist in Christendom to go on record comparing Nixon to Hitler?”

I enjoyed this flashback to 1972 and the election. Mostly, it's about how the Democrats lost, than how Nixon won, and the politics involved are deeply interesting. Love the comparison of a politician “on the scent of the White House” to “a bull elk in the rut”! Pure genius! I must admit, I liked the more gonzo bits about Hunter in the hotels and such, but I think if someone is looking for what feels like an honest take on an election, this book does it! It was also interesting to see so many familiar names to me - Gary Hart, Willie Brown, Ron Dellums, Ron Kovic - many before their bigger fame moments!

I had picked this up after watching "Where The Buffalo Roam", and was interested to know more about the Zoo plane. Strangely, that covers maybe 10 pages total toward the end. Funny, but just a drop of a story in the overall bucket of this book! Still, I'm glad I read it! And I wish Hunter were around today to see how Trump has out-Nixoned Nixon, and how the Hitler comparison is even more applicable today! Boy, he would have had a field day!

One complaint about this edition: The Ralph Steadman artwork is really small in here. So small, in fact, that I could not read most of the words in the pictures. And it's a shame, because his stuff is so damn good! If/when they do another reprint, they should give the man his due! To hell with page constraints!!! ( )
  Stahl-Ricco | Jan 19, 2019 |
So fun and enlightening for someone like me who is just fascinated with the inner workings of political campaigns. I was infinitely amused by some of his shenanigans (deciding to march in a "spontaneous enthusiastic crowd" of Nixon Youth while at the Republican convention)and intrigued by all the very complex machinations that were taking place behind the scenes. Also very exciting to me was the recognition of all the names that are still in the same game, more than 20 years later. Coincidence??? ( )
  HardcoverHearts | Mar 24, 2018 |
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 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hunter S. Thompsonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Steadman, RalphIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Between the Idea and the Reality ... Falls the Shadow.
--T. S. Eliot
Dedication
To Sandy, who endured almost a year of grim exile in Washington, D. C. while this book was being written.
--HST
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Outside my front door the street is full of leaves.
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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)

A political journalist presents his frankly subjective observations on the personalities and political machinations of the 1972 Democratic presidential primaries and the subsequent campaign between nominee George McGovern and incumbent Richard Nixon.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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