Margaret at the McNally Jackson Bookstore (Brooklyn)

Harrell and Denevi – McNally Jackson event

It’s official. I joined George Mason MFA professor Tim Denevi and journalist Jonny Diamond (writer for Rolling Stone, etc.; editor in chief of The Literary Hub) at a McNally Jackson Bookstore event in Brooklyn in November. It’s part of Denevi’s book tour for Freak Kingdom: Hunter S. Thompson’s Manic Ten-Year Crusade Against American Fascism, on sale October 30.

Chrysler Building from hotel room

Partnering with Little Brown, The Paris Review, Soho Press, The Melville House, Harper Perennial, the National Book Critics Circle, Random House, Feminist Pres, and many more in the publishing world, The Literary Hub  has Tim Denevi on the masthead as well as Diamond. Fortunately, Tim has me in the panel because of my firsthand experience with Hunter and the Sixties. Otherwise, I’d be the odd person out, in that these two are young, dynamic, political Opinion and Editorial specialists.

Freak Kingdom: Hunter S. Thompson’s Manic Ten-Year Crusade Against American Fascism, which I went through in manuscript, is a very interesting book:

The story of Hunter S. Thompson’s crusade against Richard Nixon and the threat of fascism in America–and the devastating price he paid for it
Hunter S. Thompson is often misremembered as a wise-cracking, drug-addled cartoon character. This book reclaims him for what he truly was: a fearless opponent of corruption and fascism, one who sacrificed his future well-being to fight against it, rewriting the rules of journalism and political satire in the process. This skillfully told and dramatic story shows how Thompson saw the danger of Richard Nixon early

Harrell and Denevi event Brooklyn

and embarked on a life-defining campaign to stop it. In his fevered effort to expose institutional injustice, Thompson pushed himself far beyond his natural limits, sustained by drugs, mania, and little else. For ten years, he cast aside his old ambitions, troubled his family, and likely hastened his own decline, along the way producing some of the best political writing in our history.

This timely biography recalls a period of anger and derangement in American politics, and one writer with the guts to tell the truth.