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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astute but crazed view of American campaign politics
This is probably a minority view but...I think 'Campaign Trail' is Thompson's best work. Why? Because it a perfect synthesis of satire, unique personal vision and presentation of the forces which shape our political circumstances. And it's f**king funny. Let me enlarge on those main 3 elements though...
Thompson's satire is like Swift's (read the 4th part of...
Published on 15 Nov 1998

versus
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for what it was, but not timeless
Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 is an odd book if, like me, you have only a bare bones understanding of American politics. Those familiar with the political figures of the '72 US election will, undoubtedly, have a different stance, but I felt oddly schizophrenic when reading it. I'll explain why.

Much of the book is dedicated to facts, figures,...
Published on 28 July 2009 by Christopher Fraser


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astute but crazed view of American campaign politics, 15 Nov 1998
By A Customer
This is probably a minority view but...I think 'Campaign Trail' is Thompson's best work. Why? Because it a perfect synthesis of satire, unique personal vision and presentation of the forces which shape our political circumstances. And it's f**king funny. Let me enlarge on those main 3 elements though...
Thompson's satire is like Swift's (read the 4th part of Gulliver's Travels and realise that it's more than a children's book if you want to know what I mean), in that its vicious tone is prompted by the author's own dissapointment at the way the more noble tendencies of man are constantly dirtied by human stupidity and greed.
Thompson's writing is probably familiar to most people who will read this review. Rest assured there is more 'Las Vegas' style writing which alone should keep some of you entertained if you don't like the politics.
Thirdly, you probably won't get a better book dealing with the 'noble' art of politics, how it is conducted, and why, despite its ofttimes rotten core, it is still important to have an awareness of the shitpool leaders of the free world have to swim in before being elected. And do you really expect them to smell of roses after this?
Not having had to write for a while has meant that I realise this review could be better. In summing up could I just say that 'Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail' is an excellent and funny piece of reportage which deserves a place in the library of those any interest in modern writing.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Hunter; If not the best yet!, 24 Aug 2001
By A Customer
Fear & Loathing in LV was a classic right out of the gate but Fear & Loathing on the Campaign Trail 72' is Hunter's "Pet Sounds" or "Seargant Peppers". The Campaign Trail like LV has Hunter diving into all sorts of fun stuff (Booze, Reds, Ibogaine, Mary Jane, Good ole fashion opium); but this book seperates itself from just an all out wacked out mess to the tune of "You learn about what makes a Political machine work". In reading this book you get a crash course on how it really is to be on a campaign. You don't get a pampered victory trot like you see in all of your gov't 101 courses in college. WARNING you'll get your hands dirty with this one but it's so worth it. Hunter jumps on the right bandwagon, McGovern, and with it he gets inside the heads of the power men behind the machine. Up close interviews with a then unknown to the masses Gary Hart, Dougherty, Stearns and Frank Mankiewicz. You even get some Football talk with Public Swine #1 Nixon. It's about seedy motel/hotel rooms, Wild Turkey and enough speed to kill a Wooly Mammoth. Fear & Loathing on The Campaign Trail is what made Hunter an American Legend.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best and rawest account of electoral politics, 8 Dec 2004
This is a great book - I have never read a better or more raw account of the low politics of election campaigns. Hunter S Thompson has an unmatched understanding of the forces that drive American politics and, although some tactics have changed, the book remains remarkably fresh over thirty years on. The historical perspective we now have on the figures (Nixon, McGovern, Humphrey, Mayor Daley, Gary Hart etc) may even add to the appeal of the book.
One minor quibble and a little warning. First, the book is a collection of dispatches written for the Rolling Stone and this inevitably means some repetition and an occasional disjointed feeling. Secondly, the book will appeal most to people with an interest in electoral politics - those who simply liked the good Doctor's style in the Rum Diaries, Hell's Angels or F&L in Las Vegas will still enjoy it but get a bit less out of it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant commentary on US politics in action, 31 Dec 2005
This review is from: Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 (Harper Perennial Modern Classics) (Paperback)
‘FALOTCT72’ is a series of articles originally written by Hunter Thompson for Rolling Stone magazine, in which he follows the race to elect a Democrat challenger to Richard Nixon in the 1972 presidential elections. It is a classic example of Gonzo journalism, the style that Thompson made his own, in which the journalist’s views and opinions are allowed to colour the reports, and in which the journalist plays an active part in the unfolding events, and is not just an observer. Thompson clearly favours the ‘no-hope’ left wing candidate George McGovern from the outset, both as an alternative to what he saw as malignant right wing influences within the Democrat party, and also to Nixon, who had begun, to Thompson, to represent everything that had gone wrong with the ideals America was founded with.
‘FALOTCT72’ is, to me, a savage account of the death of the ‘American Dream’ (as Thompson understood it), every bit as devastating as his classic novel ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’. As a journalist who is close to the election (especially to the McGovern campaign), but not actually within the approved cadre of accepted hacks, Thompson is in an excellent position to give a brutally honest account of the electoral process. Although we may accept that behind the scenes shenanigans are standard in elections, the book shows how far from the ideal of democracy modern politics has fallen, with dirty tricks abounding even within the Democrat party against its own candidates. A note of hope is provided as the idealistic, non-politico McGovern comes from nowhere to defeat the old party guard, threatening to usher in a new honesty in politics. Thompson sees hope for America in its support for McGovern until it is brutally swept away by the intrusion of old-style politics into the presidential campaign, heralding a crushing defeat to Nixon, a president almost universally recognised as untrustworthy.
This is a surprisingly touching book. Thompson still has hope for his country in ’72. Indeed that may have been the last year that he did. His feelings about an election that represented so much more than simply a win for Nixon are tragic. It is all told with his trademark savage humour, drug consumption and outrageous behaviour. It perhaps requires some knowledge of American politics to be fully appreciated, perhaps explaining its lower profile when compared to ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’. It is nevertheless very much in the same vein: funny and tragic and beautiful. An observation of American life that says so much more than the text simply describes. This is Hunter Thompson at his most poignant and, for me, the best book of his that I have read to date.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 9 July 2014
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This review is from: Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 (Harper Perennial Modern Classics) (Paperback)
classic stoner read said........
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 27 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 (Harper Perennial Modern Classics) (Paperback)
Just superb not much more I can say really. Superb man... One of the most exciting reads in like forever...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Yes!, 25 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 (Harper Perennial Modern Classics) (Paperback)
Great price for this book, been shopping around for a while, would consider getting all the others from here.
Amezeballs
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very good, 24 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 (Harper Perennial Modern Classics) (Paperback)
This was a promt service. The book was as it was advertised used, but readable. I would use this service again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sit back and enjoy the ride., 22 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 (Harper Perennial Modern Classics) (Paperback)
One of America's greatest authors. If you don't have this book and then read it, you're as crazy as the cover.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fear And Loathing On The Campaign Trail, 1 Aug 2011
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Stephen Howe - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 (Harper Perennial Modern Classics) (Paperback)
Hunter Thompson is probably the most readable writer of the last 50 years, his journey reads like a nightmare, you can almost vision him going a little mad as he follows the 1972 American election campaign. It's phenomenal.
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