Most political science texts are pedantic, dry, and boring. This one is not. The author is known for gonzo journalism; an essentially free association form of writing aided by copious intakes of drugs, hallucinogenics, alcohol, and God knows what else. It is a form of free-for-all frenzy that Thompson has elevated to a fine art. Initiates to this style of writing may be inclined to dismiss it as drug-crazed nonsense, but bear with the book, even though sections of it are marked with coarse, but funny, insults, tales of escapades under the influence, and frightful poems by the author.
Admixed in this collage is the background story of the McGovern campaign of 1972, and a remarkable journey it is. Thompson closely examines the dynamics of groundroots politics, including issue formation, organization, campaign tactics, conventioneering, and the like. He shows you the Eagleton debacle, the abdication of labor's role in the Democratic Party, why Muskie failed miserably, the use of drugs by candidates, and a thousand other things you would never have thought about unless you are active in political campaigns.
Overall, the book is a scintillating picture of America at the closing of the Vietnam era, and the effect this had on politics. I recommend the book very highly to anyone interested in the political process, INCLUDING professors, students, political operatives, and the person in the street. Thompson was out there. He saw the campaign in action and reports his views with great passion and by never being dull. I loved the book.