Hunter S. Thompson's Manic Ten-Year Crusade Against American Fascism
By Timothy Denevi
How the gonzo literary journalist became a crusader against Richard Nixon and the threat of fascism in America--and the devastating price his work exacted on his life, his health, and his career
Hunter S. Thompson is best remembered today as a caricature: drug-addled, sharp-witted, and passionate; played with bowlegged aplomb by Johnny Depp; memorialized as a Doonesbury character. In all this entertainment, the true figure of Thompson has unfortunately been forgotten.
In this perceptive, dramatic book, Tim Denevi recounts the moment when Thompson found his calling. As the Kennedy assassination and the turmoil of the 60s paved the way for Richard Nixon, Thompson greeted him with two very powerful emotions: fear and loathing. In his fevered effort to take down what he saw as a rising dictator, Thompson made a kind of Faustian bargain, taking the drugs he needed to meet newspaper deadlines and pushing himself beyond his natural limits. For ten years, he cast aside his old ambitions, troubled his family, and likely hastened his own decline, along the way producing some of the best political writing in our history.
This remarkable biography reclaims Hunter Thompson for the enigmatic true believer he was: not a punchline or a cartoon character, but a fierce, colorful opponent of fascism in a country that suddenly seemed all too willing to accept it.
Timothy Denevi is an assistant professor in the MFA program at George Mason University, and the nonfiction editor of Literary Hub. His first book, Hyper: A Personal History of ADHD was published in 2014. He received his MFA in nonfiction from the University of Iowa and his work has appeared in The Atlantic, Time, The Paris Review, and New York Magazine, among others. He has been awarded fellowships by the MacDowell Colony and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Tim lives near Washington, DC with his wife and children.
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- Publication date:
10 Jan 2019
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