& Douglas Brinkley
Conversations on Politics and Literature
NYS Writers Institute, November 4, 1998
His new book The Rum Diary: The Long Lost Novel (Simon & Schuster) is an outrageous, irreverent, and autobiographical account of a journalist in the tropics. Started in 1959, this is a brilliant first work by a desperate, then-unknown 22 year old journalist, who would later father Gonzo journalism and author the venerated Fear and Loathing books to become one of the most celebrated literary figures of his time. It is Thompson's first work of fiction, a lyrical masterpiece of passion, craziness and raw ambition, that was set aside when the great wave of the 1960's rolled over American letters. Forty years later, but with the timeless quality of all great fiction, the novel has been resurrected.
Hunter S. Thompson is a regular contributor to many national and international publications. Thompson now lives in a fortified compound on an island near Puerto Rico.
Readings for Hunter March 14, 2005, 4:30-6:00 p.m., HU 354
In addition to publishing numerous nonfiction books on American history, Douglas Brinkley also has edited the letters of Hunter S. Thompson in The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman 1955-67 (1997), the first in an anticipated three-volume collection. It includes letters spanning a 12-year period, during which time Thompson survived his first incarceration, graduated from high school, was discharged from the Air Force, wrote in obscurity, and finally achieved notoriety with the publication of Hells Angels.
Douglas Brinkley's recent book, The Unfinished Presidency: Jimmy Carter's Journey Beyond the White House (1998), probes inside Carter's post-presidential years including his relation with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, his promotion of human rights, and his relationship with the Clinton administration. Michael Beschloss praised The Unfinished Presidency as "a fascinating, thoughtful account of Jimmy Carter after the White House--easily the most detailed real-time inside look we have ever had at an American ex-president." Brinkley's newest book, American Heritage's The New History of the United States will be released this fall.
Historian Stephen E. Ambrose has described Brinkley as "the best of the new generation of American historians." Brinkley is the author of Dean Acheson: The Cold War Years 1953-71 (1992), Driven Patriot: The Life and Times of James Forrestal which he co-authored with Townsend Hoopes, and which was named a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times, as well as Rise to Globalism: American Foreign Policy Since 1938 which he co-authored with Stephen E. Ambrose. Brinkley also is the author of The Majic Bus: An Odyssey (1993), based on a six-week field trip he took across America leading a class of college students to study the country's history, literature, and culture. He also edited with David R. Facey-Crowther, The Atlantic Charter (1995) on the historic meeting between U.S. President Frankin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
". . .Douglas Brinkley's excellent book records the possibilities and perils of an activist ex-presidency with candor, insight, and readability. A fine history!" - Arthur Schlesinger Jr. on The Unfinished Presidency