April 24, 1979
Flamboyant national affairs editor of Rolling Stone Hunter S. Thompson spoke on “Fear, Loathing, and Gonzo Journalism” in Avery Hall, drawing his title from two of his books. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream (1971), which established Thompson as a new and powerful voice, was followed by Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail (1973), an account of the defeat of Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern by President Richard Nixon—Thompson’s nemesis.
Gonzo journalism, a term first coined by Thompson in a 1970 article, referred to reporting in a highly personal and confrontational manner. Thompson spoke again at Vassar in 1984.