Rediscover: Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72

In December 1971, Hunter S. Thompson, armed with a first-generation fax machine he called the "mojo wire," began covering the 1972 presidential campaign for Rolling Stone. From his base in a rented apartment in Washington, D.C., an arrangement Thompson described as being like "living in an armed camp, a condition of constant fear," he spent the next year following every twist of what would be a tumultuous campaign. These collected dispatches became a book, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72, published by Straight Arrow Books in 1973.

Thompson was an early fan of the eventual Democratic nominee, George McGovern, calling rival Hubert Humphrey a "hopeless old hack" and saying Maine Senator Edmund Muskie's campaign had a "stench of death." Thompson was especially fascinated by the chaos of the Democratic convention, during which McGovern's nomination was imperiled by party politicking. Throughout his dispatches, Thompson maintained his legendary hatred of Richard Nixon, who he claimed represented "that dark, venal, and incurably violent side of the American character." Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 is a pioneering work of gonzo journalism and a reminder that Thompson's insights are sorely missed in this gonzo election cycle. The book was last published with a new introduction by Matt Taibbi in 2012 (Simon & Schuster, $17, 9781451691573). --Tobias Mutter

Powered by: Xtenit