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Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 Paperback – June 26, 2012
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“The best stuff on the campaign I’ve read anywhere.” —The Washington Post
“An American original. He hit the high notes out on the ragged edge, and thousands of us heard him above the canned din of the safe center.” —Los Angeles Times
“Thompson should be recognized for contributing some of the clearest, most bracing and fearless analysis of the possibilities and failures of American democracy in the past century.” —Chicago Tribune
“Some of the finest political and social writing of our times.” —The Seattle Times
“Obscene, horrid, repellent . . . Driving, urgent, candid, searing . . . A fascinating, compelling book.” —The New York Post
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Top Customer Reviews
Gonzo Journalism was well suited to a sixties journey to Vegas but is even more illuminating covering the 1972 election. Thompson is insightful enough to read the political currents of the campaigns and conventions while lending his own brand of craziness to an epoch of American electioneering that makes our rabid era look placid in comparison. He can start with an interesting observation such as: "Hubert (Humphrey) seems genuinely puzzled by the fast-rising tide of evidence that many once-sympathetic voters no longer believe anything he says." The author later stretches a bit to say that "Sending Muskie against Nixon would have been like sending a three-toed sloth out to seize turf from a wolverine." Soon, Thompson is describing Muskie's emotional collapse over the "Canuck letter" through a fantasy in which an Ibogaine induced candidate imagines that gila monsters are attacking his legs as he speaks from a train. The beauty of the text is that somehow, Thompson's nightmare version seems more real than what actually occurred.
Not to be overlooked are Englishman Ralph Steadman's wonderful and embittered illustrations such as Nixon waving to supporters behind a police line.Read more ›
You get a lot of the main characters and the narrative plays out against the backdrop of Watergate. Knowing how the story plays out over the next several years, there is still tension to the stories because you want to jump into the middle of the book and scream at all of the people involved: "Wait! Can't you see that Nixon is a devious crook! Don't you know that Nixon is going to bring the country to its knees in scandal?"
That being said, I should note that I read the book during the middle of the 2012 election. In reading the account of the 1972 election, I find myself wondering what Hunter might have had to say about Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. Not to mention what he might have said about Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh and any of the other cast of characters that make up what passes for political dialogue in 2012 or 2013 for that matter.
Also, Hunter's writing and insight is nothing short of brilliant most of the time - even when he's rambling, incoherent or just making stuff up about politicians' drug use, he's better than most of the rest.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The best book ever about what it feels like to be in the middle of a campaign.Published 10 days ago by Michael D. O'Brien
This book was my introduction to American politics, and I've never needed another. I was 21, Scottish, and couldn't believe what I was reading. Read morePublished 21 days ago by Stephen Foster
HST writing style is enough of a reason to read. One of the all time classics in political journalism. Must read.Published 1 month ago by Benjamin A Chandhok
Rereading Hunter S. Thompson's speed & acid-addled account of the 1972 U.S. presidential campaign is a profoundly enlightening experience, especially in light of the creativity and... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Ezekiel