What should we make of Hunter S. Thompson today? Only a hardened contrarian could downplay his importance as a chronicler of the collapse of sixties-style utopianism in America. Few readers could forget — or refrain from committing to memory — the famous passage of Thompson’s journalistic and psychedelic novelFear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1971) that looks back on the ruins of hippiedom from within the hangover of the early seventies. With unmatched clarity, he traces how “the energy of a whole generation comes to a head in a long fine flash,” the “sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil,” the feeling of “riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave,” and how, “less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark — that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.”

Source: Open Culture (Read the rest!)