April 24, 1984
Journalist and author Hunter S. Thompson, the inventor of the highly personal and confrontational style called “Gonzo journalism,” lectured in the Chapel. His appearance was notable for his tardiness and his complaints about the chapel’s smoking ban. A lifelong user of drugs, he replied, when asked about his thoughts on cocaine, “it’s O.K. if only one percent of society uses it, but it gets ugly when fifty percent of society starts using it.” The Miscellany News
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.
Thompson spoke at Vassar previously, in 1979.