Freak Kingdom: Timothy Denevi, Jonny Diamond, and Margaret A. Harrell
Where: McNally Jackson Williamsburg
76 N. 4th St.
718-387-0115 Price: Free
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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 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.
Timothy Denevi is the author of Freak Kingdom: Hunter S. Thompson’s Manic Ten-Year Crusade Against American Fascism (PublicAffairs, 2018) and Hyper: A Personal History of ADHD (Simon & Schuster, 2014). His essays on politics, sport, and religion have recently appeared in The Paris Review, New York Magazine, Salon, The Normal School, and Literary Hub, where he serves as the nonfiction editor. He received his MFA in nonfiction from the University of Iowa, and he’s been awarded fellowships by the MacDowell Colony and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Tim is an assistant professor at George Mason University and lives with his family near Washington, DC.
Jonny Diamond is a writer and editor who splits his time between New York City and the Hudson Valley. His fiction and nonfiction has appeared in The Missouri Review, Geist, Hobart Pulp, Rolling Stone, Literary Hub, and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book-length object history of the axe, part investigation of its symbolism in America’s westward expansion, part interrogation of contemporary tropes of masculinity and wilderness. He has a seven-year-old son named Lucian, and is the editor-in-chief of LitHub.com.
Margaret A. Harrell was Hunter Thompson’s “trusted copy editor”/Assistant Editor for Hell’s Angels—which launched his career—and a lifelong friend. She is the author of two memoirs that feature him: Keep This Quiet! My Relationship with Hunter S. Thompson, Milton Klonsky, and Jan Mensaert and Keep THIS Quiet Too!