Hunter S. Thompson was a pioneer in Gonzo journalism, a writing style that fictionalized journalistic reporting through first draft, no editing publication. This unique writing style, coupled with Thompson’s personal collective identity based on Sedikides and Brewer’s three-part identity allowed for Thompson to draft a model for the three-part American identity based in the American dream. Throughout his career Thompson sought to find the American dream but what he found instead was the death of decency in America and the rebirth of the American dream through a whitewashed lens. The thesis paper explores three-parts of American identity, the American dream, American culture, and American perception throughout Thompson’s writings. The holistic American identity is a concept to broad to define, instead Thompson examined small segments of marginalized society, or micronationalisms, as examples of the greater American identity. Through racial disparity Thompson was able to explore limitations on the American dream within the micronationalisms of the Hell’s Angels, Chicano population of East Los Angeles, and the black population of Louisville, Kentucky. Thompson traced American perception through media bias towards micronationalism populations and irresponsible political reporting during the 1972 Presidential campaign and subsequent election. Thompson traces American culture through sports writing, the perception of women and rape culture in America, and through the city of Las Vegas as a unique micronationalism society.

Date of publication

Spring 5-2-2017

Document Type




Persistent identifier


Committee members

Dr. Ann Beebe, Dr. Stephanie Odom, Dr. Annette Jessop


Master of Arts