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In 1963, 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. 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 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along the Hunter S. Thompson Trail with those that Thompson describes in his published correspondence and largely unpublished Observer pieces, The Footloose American is both a personal journey and a thought-provoking study of culture and place.