Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72
Hilarious, terrifying, insightful, and compulsively readable, these are the articles that Hunter S. Thompson wrote for Rolling Stone magazine while covering the 1972 election campaign of President Richard M. Nixon and his unsuccessful opponent, Senator George S. McGovern. Hunter focuses largely on the Democratic Party's primaries and the breakdown of the national party as...more
As Thompson's reputation precedes him, I had no clue what to expect from this book. The drug-addled ramblings of a drunken madman, perhaps? Imagine my surprise to find his writing to be sharp, clear, keenly observant, and funny as hell.
Oh, the madman pops up now and then with lines like - ...I was bored from bad noise on the radio and half-drunk from doing off a quart of Wild Turkey between the Chicago and ...more
Campaign Trail... is a scathing account of American politics and presidential campaigns. Thompson's journey centers on the McGovern-Nixon '72 election. Like a massive drug trip, the book ...more
Hunter was here, at this moment of Nixon's criminal grab for power, close to the center of the obscenity, but only allowed to ...more
There's no way of truly pinning down what makes this such a great read, although if you are familiar with Thompson you know you will enjoy his ...more
The more things change, the more they stay the same, eh?
The first time I read this I was young, in my mid-twenties. I didn't recognize the names. I laughed some and moved on. I didn't appreciate its savagery, or its brutal honesty. I just dismissed it as a longer version of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas in a different city. My eyes ...more
Any author can look back at a campaign, but Thompson, despite being drunk or high or hung over for the duration of the election, predicted the future. He ...more
It has been a very very long time since I've read Thompson. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas was my only other exposure to him and that was way back in that ...more
1. Are there parallels in Thompson’s coverage to what we’re experiencing in the era of Donald Trump? Was the Nixon campaign, and was Nixon as a candidate, as depraved and absurd as what we’re seeing today?
2. Should I regret not going on the campaign trail? Is following a campaign a desirable pursuit for a journalist? Or do you just ...more
Reading Fear and Loathing on The Campaign Trail seems like more of an insight into what it must have been like to prize work out of Hunter S Thompson than anything else. I didn't really learn anything about American Politics ...more
That public men publish falsehoods
Is nothing new. That America must accept
Like the historical republics corruption and empire
Has been known for years.
Be angry at the sun for setting
If these things anger you.
Reading Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 during the 2016 primary season really drives home the point that the cynical view of politics is in fact the most accurate. The inner workings and machinations of a well-run campaign have so little to do with what the ...more
This is not Thompson's best book. Hell's Angels and Fear and Loathing in LasVegas are both better. Indeed, it is pretty clear that this was a ...more
If I'd known the word fascist at the time, I'd have called him that, too, but I was only 10 years old and not well informed. It was inimical to the power structure of Sanders Elementary School to undermine their own authority by telling us, and certainly, therefore, not their inclination to yank from his neck the lanyard that held the whistle that was always perched between his lips for constant blowing, which he ...more
5 February 2019
One of the things that I kept wandering as I read this book was how did people perceive Nixon prior to the Watergate Scandal blowing up in his face. I wonder whether he was as much of a polarising President as a certain one today, and did people view the ascension of Nixon in the same way that they viewed the ascension of Trump, that is whether it would be the end of the United States as they knew it. Well, they have lasted at least another fifty years, but I ...more
Hunter Thompson was booked as a speaker at my college, so I was preparing for him, or something like that. He did not show up. There were very confirmed rumors that he was often unpredictable and had a big problem with the booze.
I don't remember much about this book except it was kinda fun to read but the perspective on the candidates' positions on various issues was pretty shallow and did not really resonate much.
I do remember ...more