‘Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72’ is Baaack … and I’m glad.

If you’ve never read Hunter S. Thompson’s brilliant “Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72,” you’re in for a treat. The 40th Anniversary edition is out, and Matt Taibbi wrote the intro …

I doubt any book means more to a single professional sect than Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72means to American political journalists. It’s been read and reread by practically every living reporter in this country, and just as you’re likely to find a dog-eared paperback copy of Evelyn Waugh’s Scoop somewhere in every foreign correspondent’s backpack, you can still spot the familiar red (it was red back then) cover of Fear and Loathing ’72 poking out of the duffel bags of the reporters sent to follow the likes of Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Barack Obama on the journalistic Siberia known as the Campaign Trail.

Decades after it was written, in fact, Fear and Loathing ’72 is still considered a kind of bible of political reporting. It’s given birth to a whole generation of clichés and literary memes, with many campaign reporters (including, unfortunately, me) finding themselves consciously or unconsciously making villainous Nixons, or Quislingian Muskies, or Christlike McGoverns out of each new quadrennial batch of presidential pretenders. Read more.

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