An adventure-filled and thought-provoking travelogue along Hunter S. Thompson's forgotten 1962-63 route through South America.
In 1963, twenty-five-year-old Hunter S. Thompson, who would become America's bestselling "gonzo journalist," completed a year-long journey across South America, filing a series of dispatches for a now-defunct paper called the National Observer. With the gritty humor and keen political observations for which he later became known, Thompson reflected on topics that continue to make headlines today: the rise of leftist populism, struggles over resource extraction, the marginalization of indigenous peoples.
In The Footloose American, award-winning travel writer Brian Kevin traverses the continent with Thompson's ghost as his guide and offers a ground-level exploration of twenty-first-century South American culture, politics, and ecology. By contrasting the author's own thrilling, transformative experiences along the Hunter S. Thompson Trail with those that Thompson describes in his published correspondence and largely unpublished Observer pieces, The Footloose American is at once a gripping personal journey and a thought-provoking study of culture and place.