The Great Shark Hunt (1979)

In 1979, Thompson published The Great Shark Hunt, a collection of some of his writing from the previous two decades, many of which deal with 1968, in particular the presidential election, and the surrounding period. One of the most interesting examples of this is “The Richard Nixon Doll.” During the 1968 presidential campaign, Thompson was assigned to do a story on Richard Nixon for Pageant and interviewed him in New Hampshire, talking mostly about sports, although Thompson also gives his views on the idea of the ‘new’ Nixon. The collection also contains articles on topics like Nixon’s inauguration in 1969, the war in Vietnam, and of course the period of the Watergate scandal. In 1968, Thompson was also present in Chicago during the Democratic Convention and got caught up in the violence and was even beaten by police himself, something that is reflected in his writing, although he did not comment on it directly, only in letters.

Thompson wrote some other important works that are not really part of this project, but that nevertheless give a good impression of how Thompson felt about the issues of the time. One is Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail ‘72, his account of the 1972 election, which gives some more insight into his feelings on Nixon, and in which he also reflects on the 1968 election. Additionally, his 1971 novel Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1971) is full of references to the state the United States was in and the decline of the American Dream, including comments about the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy, the war in Vietnam, and of course Richard Nixon.

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