Wed Jun 27, 2012, 06:10 PM
BridgeTheGap (3,600 posts)
Q&A: Matt Taibbi on the 40th Anniversary of Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72, H. Thompson
Matt Taibbi, like many journalists, grew up idolizing Hunter S. Thompson. But Taibbi, unlike many journalists, got Hunter S. Thompson's job.
The similarities between the two Rolling Stone scribes do not stop there, even though Taibbi himself argues he's nothing like Thompson. Both made their name pointing out hypocrisies and flaws in the U.S. government. Both thrived (one still is) at a time of turmoil in our country's history. Both even managed to love the same sport, the game of football. And now both have their name on the cover of the same book. Taibbi was given the responsibility of writing a new introduction to the 40th-anniversary edition of one of Thompson's seminal works, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72, which releases today.
In his introduction, Taibbi highlights the importance of Thompson's writing, calling him the "most instantly trustworthy" American narrator since Mark Twain, and argues that the book still continues to define the way we think about the dramas of politics. Taibbi stopped by The Village Voice office (where he was a summer intern in 1987) to chat about Thompson's influence, how Thompson lives up to his own cliche, and why Obama would disappoint Thompson, were Thompson still alive.
When did you first read Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72?
I remember my father telling me about when Thompson was writing the pieces in Rolling Stone at the time--not the book, but the monthly dispatches. It was such a unique thing because everybody was waiting for it at the end of every month. I didn't read the book till I was pretty old. I read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas when I was in high school, and I probably read this when I was a senior in college.
3 replies, 1116 views
Q&A: Matt Taibbi on the 40th Anniversary of Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72, H. Thompson (Original post)
Response to BridgeTheGap (Original post)
Wed Jun 27, 2012, 11:54 PM
malthaussen (3,686 posts)
2. Anything by Thompson is a great read,
... but I wonder if he's as timeless as Mr Tabbi thinks. Do younger readers appreciate him as much as those who were around in '72?
Response to malthaussen (Reply #2)
Thu Jun 28, 2012, 09:12 AM
BridgeTheGap (3,600 posts)
3. I do know younger readers who appreciate the work of Thompson but
I haven't really paid attention to his book sales to see if they're boosting them. Fear and Loathing is a slice of history that may not interest many younger readers. It's interesting to note that the city of Louisville, Thompson's hometown, has done large murals of city notables (i.e. Muhammad Ali) on the sides of downtown buildings but has yet to do anything for the good doctor. People I know who have worked on this say local officials' reticence is due to Thompson's prolific drug and alcohol use.