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Showing 1-10 of 102 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 186 reviews
on September 25, 2014
I am a very big fan of Hunter S. Thompson, and have read both Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Hell's Angels.

I really enjoy the way he writes. His style is nowadays so often imitated- but NEVER equaled.

--Now, first a Warning--
If your only other experience with the late Dr Thompson is Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and you got into all of the mindless drug fueled debauchery in that, well I have bad news:

F&L on the Campaign Trail is NOT that at all, so if that's what you are expecting then you might be disappointed. Instead, read Hell's Angels first. It still has the sex and violence, but it reads more like real journalism than someone narrating an orgy. That will at least prepare you for what to expect in Campaign Trail '72.

If you are into politics at all, this is a MUST read. HST really goes into all of the intricacies of the electoral process, but does so with such flair and style that it never becomes dry.

My personal favorite Thompson book is Hells Angels, but I'd have to say this one comes in a close second.
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on August 20, 2014
I had never read any Hunter S Thompson books before "Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72"; the only experience I had with the gonzo guru was Terry Gilliam's adaptation of "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas." The book begins by outlining Thompson's attitude towards politics and, more pertinently, his perspective of political journalism. Writing for the Rolling Stone, Thompson immediately gets over the feeling of being on the razor's edge, just one step from total car crash insanity.

The "edgy" feeling Thompson swings like a cudgel serves him well as he delves into various misadventures, asides and other nonsense that that could only happen in the crazy, sick world the Republicans and Democrats. Hunter does a fantastic job getting the various personalities over during the book and keeps things interesting during the monotonous run of the campaigns (which is something most political books fail to do).

While not his best work, this is another effort that will subtly beckon for a re-read down the line, and the fact that I'm considering keeping it around speaks volumes about the book's entertainment value and historical significance.
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on May 19, 2017
If anyone were to own only one book by Hunter, it would have to be this one. The introduction contains a clearer picture of the reasons Hunter wrote than available elsewhere. It is a record of a search for a dream that is not to be. I can recommend it to any, whether they are fans of Hunter or not.
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on October 16, 2016
Thompson does it again. This time its the 1972 election and his instincts are so sharp and on point, far more than any others at the time. Hunter has the ability to look past the words of a stump speech and find the inner flame of the candidate, or the hollow black spot where their heart should have been.
It's easy to read. Scathing and funny at the same time. To be cursed by Thompson would be an honor if it didn't require them to be despicable.
After reading Thompson, other political commentary seems as fluffy as egg whites.
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on March 15, 2017
Thompson's focus on detail brings 1972 right back into the crosshairs. McGovern & Wallace lined up facing Nixon & Muskie on a line of scrimmage defined by discontent and lack of trust in politicians. The fun, gonzo style is there too, but it is not the main event. Hunter's insights into national politics is as valuable today as it was then.
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on April 21, 2017
I was ready to discount this book as another beat writer's ramble. But, I was pleasantly surprised who insightful HST is and how honest the piece is. He really is a sharp writer. The writing is dense so I took it in sections but it was a very educational read.
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on December 5, 2012
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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on June 27, 2014
Historically significant:
It reads like fiction but that's the point.
No other text discredits politics like this one.

People realize how untrustworthy the mainstream
media is because of the internet... however it's easy
to fall back into relying on them when often they
are the only source on a given subject. Admit it.
So, read this book and that will all be over!!!

The SUBJECTIVE style of this book will give you the
personal knowledge base to understand the over-
whelming conflicts of interest that prevail in modern
power. You will no longer just see the actors and
propaganda that surrounds us, but you will know the
existential depravity behind them, and feel it first,
the next time you are bombarded with their lies.
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on April 9, 2017
What defines this book more than anything is the emotion, and there is follow through on said emtion. His "tan gents," although random, are consistent. I feel they fit emotionally, into the world of politics, and encapsulates one of the themes. Contrastingly, the author and main character, treats his body like an a playground, while touring the impromptu amusement park of an industry, that is presidential campaigning. Thompson's humor is as sharp as ever in this borderline epic.
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on December 9, 2013
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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