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Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 Paperback – June 26, 2012


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Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 + Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga + Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (June 26, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451691572
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451691573
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.6 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,717 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“The best account yet published of what it feels like to be out there in the middle of the American political process.” —The New York Times Book Review

“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

About the Author

Hunter S. Thompson was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. His books include Hell's Angels, Fear and Loathing at Rolling Stone, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72, The Rum Diary, and Better than Sex. He died in February 2005.

More About the Author

Hunter S. Thompson's books include Fear and Loathing in America, Screwjack, Hell's Angels, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Proud Highway, Better Than Sex, The Rum Diary, and Kingdom of Fear. He was contributor to various national and international publications, including a weekly sports column for ESPN Online. Thompson died February 2005.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Also, I love Dr. Thompson's writing--especially his earlier stuff--like this.
El Vieja
Not only a great read about politics and journalism in the 70es, but also very insightful for those who are following the current political situation in the US.
Felix Siebenhühner
It's worth the read, and unlike a lot of books about politics, worth the reread.
Andrew J. Patrick

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By The Ginger Man VINE VOICE on July 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
There are certain books that help define the tumultuous era between JFK's election and Nixon's resignation. Fear and Loathing can included in a list with The Best and the Brightest, Armies of the Night, Nixon Agonistes and All the President's Men. Just as importantly, each of these writers - Halberstam, Thompson, Mailer and Wills - infused their texts with a writing style that matched in virtuosity the events being covered.

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.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. G. Nixdorf on December 5, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Now 40 years old, this book remains the definitive work of campaign-following gonzo journalism. Often imitated, never duplicated. Here in 2012, after an election chock full of what seemed like some of the worst bad craziness associated with a campaign in recent memory, it's both reassuring and a bit frightening to see just how little has changed in American politics in the last 40 years.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David R. Wakeman on February 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Hunter S Thompson may or may not have been trendy since he began being famous back in the 1960s. Who knows? I'm only old enough to know that he has always been linked to Gonzo journalism and being a bit of a character. That being said, this book is a very interesting take on the 1972 campaign for President.

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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Felix Siebenhühner on July 22, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not only a great read about politics and journalism in the 70es, but also very insightful for those who are following the current political situation in the US. This was after all the time when the two parties essentially set the course they're still on today... except the GOP being even more right today than even Goldwater could have imagined. And keep in mind that most big-name US politicians (most of them being between 50 and 70 years) probably either were already active in that time or just started getting interested in politics.
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Malt Maniac on December 9, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm 23 years old, unable to relate to any of the primary discussion here. That being said, this book is a tremendously good read, hard to explain how a book written about the campaign trail of a campaign held 18 years before my birth could be a page turner, but that in itself is the main praise. Hunter writes in a way that the everyday cynic can enjoy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Chpitne on August 6, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Any chronicle of the the life pursuits of Peter Sheridan is mandatory for the happiness of the friends he left behind.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By P Magnum HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 14, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
For anyone who enjoys following politics and political journalism, Hunter S. Thompson's Fear & Loathing On The Campaign Trail '72 is the Holy Grail. The book culls together articles Dr. Thompson filed from the road for Rolling Stone. The immediacy and genuine feel the articles conveys puts you right on the trail with all the various characters from the '72 Presidential race. It is less the Gonzo journalism of Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas and his other works of that era but more of a personal and thoughtful look at the path the country was going down. The 40th anniversary edition contains a new foreword written by current Rolling Stone politico Matt Taibbi. Mr. Taibbi is a worthy successor to Dr. Thompson, but the foreword is really not much more than a pointing out of the obvious debt that he and most current political writers owe to this book.
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