Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 Paperback
Illustrated by Ralph Steadman
Part of the Harper Perennial Modern Classics series
The best, the fastest, the hippest and the most unorthodox account ever published of the US presidential electoral process in all its madness and corruption.
In 1972 Hunter S. Thompson, the creator and king of Gonzo journalism, covered the US presidential campaign for Rolling Stone magazine alongside the establishment newsmen of Washington.
The result is a classic piece of subversive reportage and a fantastic ride on the rollercoaster of Hunter's uniquely savage imagination.
In his own words, written years before Watergate: 'It is Nixon himself who represents that dark, venal and incurably violent side of the American character almost every other country in the world has learned to fear and despise.'
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 512 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
- Publication Date: 04/04/2005
- Category: History of the Americas
- ISBN: 9780007204489
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Review by Eyejaybee
I turned nine during 1972, living in the English Midlands, so my recollections of the American Presidential campaign of that year are conspicuous by their paucity. If anyone had asked me during the summer of that year who Richard Nixon was, I might well have replied that I thought he was king of America. Endearingly misguided, perhaps, though it become evident from this collection of Hunter S Thompson's contemporaneous columns for 'Rolling Stone' that he believed that Nixon himself would have agreed with me. [For any regular viewers of Fox News, please note that Richard Nixon was NEVER King of America!].These pieces are among Thompson's finest - resonant with his rage and increasing disbelief at the vagaries and hypocrisies of politicians and the huge sums of money thrown at the campaigns. It is not clear whom he despised more - President Nixon himself or Hubert Humphrey, for whom his most vitriolic diatribes are reserved. George McGovern, who would eventually secure the Democratic nomination, emerges as a figure worthy of respect. Thompson clearly didn't endorse the whole of his campaign but, let's be honest, it is unlikely that any candidate for any public office who could tick every box in Thompson's manifesto requests could secure backing from the more orthodox political cognoscenti.More than forty years on these pieces still bring the salient issues to life, and offer a sharp insight into American social history, and the already gaping chasm between 'normal' people's lives and those of the politicians professing to represent them.