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July's Book
Hell’s Angels
by Hunter S. Thompson

Viewer’s Response
Johnny Fields, a Kentucky biker and bookclub viewer, sent us this reaction to the Hell’s Angels program by e-mail.
[See program transcript]

I caught the last half of last night’s show about Hunter Thompson’s book Hell’s Angels and have a few comments.

I am a biker. And I read Thompson’s book in the sixties. Although I enjoyed the conversation of the panelists on last night’s show, it was obvious that neither of them knew very much about motorcycle clubs. And the sad thing is ... neither did Thompson. And that is probably the biggest factor behind why he got “stomped” by an Angel.

Thompson’s book was simply an exercise in cultural propaganda. He exploited the “1960s Hollywood B-Movie Image” of the club members to sell books and make money. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Many (most) of the statements made by the panelists about the “lifestyle” of the Angels were so ridiculous that I had to laugh out loud. My only comment on the silly notions that Hell’s Angels don’'t work, are dirty, uneducated, etc., is ... Geez ... get a grip!

But there is one issue that I do want to comment on. One lady panelist seemed confused about the fact that Sonny Barger volunteered the Hell’s Angels for duty in Vietnam. She seemed unable to grasp the reasoning behind this because, as she put it, Barger and the Angels were so “anti-establishment.” It seems to me that people with the attitude of that panelist do not fully comprehend the concept of liberty. Barger and the Angels were simply doing what a lot of people don’t have the courage to do ... to lay their lives on the line to preserve our American liberties. Those liberties include the right to ride a Harley, dress different than the neighbors, and choose our government officials through a democratic process. People have fought and died for the right to be “anti-establishment” for the past couple centuries. Why would that panelist be so surprised that the Angels were willing to defend their liberty ... and hers?

I could go on and on, but I’m tired of typing. Good show. Keep up the great work.


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