Gonzo Republic Hunter S. Thompson's America, by Stephenson, William
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- ISBN: 9781441168276 | 1441168273
- Cover: Hardcover
- Copyright: 11/17/2011
Gonzo Republic looks at Hunter S. Thompson's complex relationship with America. Thompson was a patriot but also a stubborn individualist. Stephenson examines the whole range of Thompson's work, from his early reporting from the South American client states of the USA in the 1960s to his twenty-first-century internet columns on sport, politics and 9/11. Stephenson argues that Thompson inhabited, but was to some extent reacting against, a core tradition of American individualism-e.g. Thoreau, Emerson and Horatio Alger-whose perceived Romanticism and naivety Thompson treated with disdain, but whose focus on the autonomous self he respected grudgingly. One of the key subjects the book investigates is Thompson himself, as personified in the texts. He created a wild, drug-abusing persona; then, as he became trapped in it, his later work began to reflect ironically on celebrity and the oppressive forces that uphold it. Thus, as well as looking closely at his books, Stephenson analyses Thompson's relationship to issues such as drugs, the counterculture; politics; celebrity; the American Dream; sexuality; ethnicity and nationalism.