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Extended Audio Sample Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, by Hunter S. Thompson Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (9,497 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Hunter S. Thompson Narrator: Scott Sowers Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2012 ISBN: 9781464044793
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After popularizing Gonzo journalism with Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Hunter S. Thompson turned his drug-fueled wit and savage insight to the race for president. With Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72, Thompson deconstructs the 1972 campaigns of George McGovern and Richard Nixon, laying bare a political process that is both seductive and utterly repellent. From the Democratic primaries to the eventual showdown between McGovern and Nixon, this book takes listeners on a hilarious, terrifying, and eye-opening journey.

Forty years after its original publication, this book remains a cornerstone of American political journalism and one of the bestselling campaign books of all time.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Some of the clearest, most bracing, and fearless analysis of the possibilities and failures of American democracy in the past century.” Chicago Tribune
  • “The best stuff on the campaign I’ve read anywhere.”

    Nicholas von Hoffman, Washington Post

  • “Obscene, horrid, repellent! Driving, urgent, candid, searing! A fascinating, compelling book!”

    New York Post

  • “Hunter S. Thompson is the most creatively crazy and vulnerable of the New Journalists. His books are brilliant and honorable and valuable! The literary equivalent of Cubism: all rules are broken.”

    Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

  • “Gaze in awe! Hunter Thompson does in his own mad way betray a profound democratic concern for the polity. And in its own mad way, it’s darned refreshing.”

    New York Times

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Valiss | 2/17/2014

    " A very good read as Hunter follows the 1972 primaries with George McGovern. Excellent insight into the inner working of a campaign and general politics. The book has it all: Hunter talks football with President Ford, avoids some cops at a rally and even gets his "good" name trashed by someone who steals his press badge. Certainly not as drug induced as Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, but nevertheless a joy ride. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ryan Milbrath | 2/12/2014

    " Probably one of the most interesting and informative written material on political campaigns in general. While some might disagree and say that this book represents a more "subdued" Hunter Thompson than the one pictured in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas or the Hells Angels, I think this book, more than the others, captures the essence of gonzo or hyper subjective journalism. I'll admit this book became boring and tedious at times, but I think it truely represented a "middle finger" to the notion of objective journalism in politics-a statement that I can always agree with. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Phil | 2/7/2014

    " Probably the last thing he wrote before drugs and alcohol made him into a parody of his former self. This book combines Thompson's usual manic rants with some surprisingly insightful analysis of American politics. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joe Alewine | 1/31/2014

    " Bar none, flat out, the best book on politics I've ever read. Insightful, hilarious, serious in craft and totally irreverant. One of my favorites. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Liz | 1/31/2014

    " Really fascinating history that I didn't know much about ... but it certainly was reminiscent of the 2004 election. Kind of tragic too, in hindsight, how Nixon appears here as the antichrist only because we hadn't yet had 8 years of Reagan and Bush. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Patrick A. | 1/25/2014

    " This book is quite funny, and paints an interesting picture of the inside political scene during a presidential campaign. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Josh | 1/19/2014

    " Not HSTs best book but a good one nonetheless. This is probably his most political novel, as the title would suggest, and the highly episodic (thoguh mercifully linear) structure lends itself perfectly to Thompson's at times outrageous writing style. This one doesn't contain the laughs or the insight as "his Vegas book" but is no slouch and if you're a fan of either HST or political campaigns at the time then this is a worthy read. Occasional photos help to illustrate some of the book "characters". "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chip Somodevilla | 1/17/2014

    " This is a great book. Alcohol-soaked, drug-addled and really astute political observation in a time and place that sounds strangely familiar to today. The press has changed (less bent on substances) but the politicians and their assistants haven't (victory or death)! With an up-close view of this current election race, I've had fun comparing and contrasting. One surprise: Thompson really cares about this subject and does a great job of describing the subtle political twists and turns that truly define a campaign. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David Steele | 1/1/2014

    " Good but upsetting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jen Jaketic | 12/24/2013

    " Hunter S Thompson is a fantastic writer. Hilarious, detailed, informative and just all-out entertaining. I never knew how political he was until reading this book. And I never knew so much about the 1972 elections before reading this. I'm serious. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Valarie | 12/22/2013

    " If you MUST write about a campaign, this is the way to do it. I love this book and read it periodically when I start taking politics--and the world--way too seriously. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 bethanne | 12/8/2013

    " nixon was a bad bad man. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jetska Kahanek | 12/5/2013

    " My absolute favorite Hunter S. Thompson Book. I've read this book many many times. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bethany | 11/24/2013

    " Essential for politics. Not for learning, but for entertainment. Great in an election year. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Neva | 10/3/2013

    " Done. I'm now slightly obsessed with HST, and by obsessed, I mean have a love/hate relationship with. I find him incredibly irritating, and yet charming at the same time. I must read more. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ira | 8/31/2013

    " This is the best book about politics I have ever come across. Like all Hunter it's ourageous, hysterical, poignant and on the money. McGovern and others have stated this is the best book about the '72 election cycle but most likely it will go down as one of the best ever. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Virgil Glass | 8/3/2013

    " The book that got me interested in politics "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Audrey | 7/10/2013

    " Good for style. As a history, there are some gaps in events, perhaps things the author assumes are known, or due to it being an artifact of the time more than a scholarly effort. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 6/24/2013

    " About what you'd expect from the guy whose obituary for Nixon years later was "he was a crook." That, and while writing these articles for Rolling Stone he was on mescaline and booze. An interesting read but often repetitive and rambling. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robert Attaway sr. | 5/22/2013

    " The Gonzo version of the campaign trail. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Klenk | 4/19/2013

    " There is something wonderful about reading about history from HST!!! "Gonzo Journalism" probably should not be ones only source of information on an event...but when it is, that makes it even more exciting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bryan | 4/16/2013

    " Just reread this and it's interesting how much Obama's campaign looked like McGovern's in 72 (except that, obviously, McGovern got his ass kicked). Plus Hunter S. Thompson is totally the best writer ever and I'm really sad he didn't live to see the 2008 election. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lara Mendizza | 1/23/2013

    " Thompson is incredible at capturing the mentality of that time, as well as providing an entertaining summary of integral political events that shaped contemporary American politics. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Addison | 12/12/2012

    " Fascinating interviews, anecdotes and analyses of a twisted time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cheebaism | 10/27/2012

    " Hilarious book and its all about politics, I couldn't ask for much more really "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hicks Randall | 10/13/2012

    " Rereading this classic for the first time in about 20 years...The parallels to the 2008 election cycle are remarkable... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sara | 10/1/2012

    " Trippy and a bit surreal, but Thompson's pulse is on campaign life (just amped up a lot...as is his style). At times, I found that the book dragged, but overall, I enjoyed it. "

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