The Atlantic

A New Book Describes Hunter S. Thompson’s Prescience

“Trump is present on every page, even though he’s never mentioned once,” the author says.
Source: Bettmann / Getty

If Hunter S. Thompson were still alive—if the so-called Gonzo journalist hadn’t killed himself in 2005, his ashes subsequently propelled from a cannon in a ceremony financed by Johnny Depp—the odds are high that he’d be linking Donald Trump to “that dark, venal and incurably violent side of the American character,” and contending that Trump “speaks for the Werewolf in us.”

That’s how Thompson reported on Richard Nixon back in his ’70s heyday, when his anarchic attitude broke the rules of objectivity and bonded with his fans in that divisive era. He was, in a sense, America’s first blogger, and his tone seems eerily contemporary. Even a letter he wrote to a friend in 1965 sounds like a common lament in 2018: “I think there is a terrible angst on the land, a sense that something ugly

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