Most notable amongst the New Journalism movement is Hunter S. Thompson. Thompson became internationally famous for his publication of Hell’s Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs (1967), for which he spent a year living with the Angels to experience their lives and stories first hand. But his most popular work is Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream (1972), in which Thompson ponders the failure of the 1960s counterculture movement. It was eventually released as a film starring Johnny Depp. It is written in the experimental style of journalism Thompson branded “Gonzo,” which placed himself as a central figure of his story. The style was first featured in the article “The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved” (1970), and it made him a prominent counter cultural figure.
Author Spotlight – Hunter S. Thompson
The development of Thompson’s experimental style can be seen even in his much later published Generation of Swine: Gonzo Papers Volume 2. Tales of Shame and Degradation in the 80’s. The author uses his refined and surreal journalism to illuminate the greed and immorality pervading the American social landscape. While criticisms to the actual ubiquity of these themes were contested, Thompson’s popularity and contribution to the New Journalism movement are indisputable.