Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72 Mass Market Paperback – Apr 22 1985
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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!
'The best stuff on the campaign I've read anywhere.' Nicholas Von Hoffman, Washington Post 'Obscene, horrid, repellent ... driving, urgent, candid, searing ... a fascinating, compelling book!' New York Post 'Hunter S. Thompson is the most creatively crazy and vulnerable of the New Journalists. His books are brilliant and honorable and valuable ... the literary equivalent of Cubism: all rules are broken.' Kurt Vonnegut Jr 'Gaze in awe ... Hunter Thompson does in his own mad way betray a profound democratic concern for the polity. And in its own mad way, it's darned refreshing.' New York Times 'Shocks you into laughter.' Detroit Free Press 'Unnerving!' Newsweek --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
I guess humnor must be why. Hunter is absolutely inconoclastic. He is side-splitting. He never smiles, and his writing has no funniness in it. I picture him writing out of dread and hate, yet it magically transforms itself into laughs when my eyes meet his words and transfer to my brain. Forgive my bad attempt to get into his head and "explain" Hunter. It's all I can do to try.
This book is phenomenal. It contains events that are different from any descriptions ever. Others have novelized reality, but nobody splits the difference like Hunter. Hunter's supposed on-scene reportage of Edmund Muskie coming unglued in the New Hampshire snow, Frank Mankiewiczs' furious (drug induced?) ramblings, the one-on-one with Nixon himelf, leaves the reader exhausted in an effort to separate reality from fantasy. Hunter is like the great con man who uses Truth to augment his lies. This is not calling Hunter a liar, it is just an example.Read more ›
Thompson not only makes it interesting, he makes it gripping, despite the fact the end result is given in the foreword! The book is a compelling look at the presidential year the saw Nixon's re-election, viewed by a drug-crazed loon with no respect for the incumbent candidate ("the dingbat"), or the rules of being a Washington reporter. HST tears them down and clearly loves every minute of it.
While the book isn't as flat-out entertaining as "...Las Vegas", it can also be read in much the same way as "1984" and "Animal Farm" by Orwell. Basically the story takes on another level of meaning and another sense of urgency when viewed an an allegory for today. It's sad, but we're in the same situation today as we were 31 years ago:
A Republican incumbent who doesn't care about ordinary people.
American soldiers dying every day for no good reason.
An apathetic public.
A huge number of Democratic hopefuls that are more content on tearing each other apart than in actually appearing electable.
A Democratic Party Leadership that wants to be centrist, "Republican Lite".
A Democratic rank-and-file that wants a huge swing to the left.
For George McGovern read Howard Dean - the parallels are uncanny.Read more ›
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.
Most recent customer reviews
Hunter Thompson's best book, a very funny book about the madness of American elections!Published 9 months ago by Helen Hickman
Mostly an absorbing narrative about the cast of characters and the behind the scenes maneuverings. Perfectly evokes the culture and the politics of the period. Read morePublished on Feb. 4 2014 by cleo
I don't really like american politics and I'm not sure what I was expecting with this one but its just Hunter talking politics. Read morePublished on April 10 2013 by Pete
The item was shipped off twice due to the negligence of the postal service, and it STILL arrived faster than most books I had ordered.
This is probably my favorite example of political journalism, in that it is informative, insightful, but never dull. Read morePublished on July 5 2004 by drew
For all his gonzo journalism, Thompson has a very keen eye for politics, even if he backed McGovern in '72. Read morePublished on April 13 2004 by James Ferguson
This book is so interesting. It was really detailed which made it nearly impossible to stop reading. I like how weird and satirical this book was. Read morePublished on March 24 2004 by Olive
Does history repeat its self? All I can say is that Hunter wrote this book coming out of the liberal 60's which rounded out in a big bummer with Richard Nixon winning. Read morePublished on Feb. 22 2004 by Hippie Smell
This is a must read! The comparisons this book draws to the current political climate of the USA and the upcoming 2004 presidential elections to the 1972 campaign and election is... Read morePublished on Jan. 30 2004