The Rise and Fall of the Brown Buffalo

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The Rise and Fall of the Brown Buffalo

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In May of 1974, Oscar Zeta Acosta disappeared off the Pacific Coast of Mexico and was never heard from again. Immortalized as the “300-pound Samoan” Dr. Gonzo in Hunter S. Thompson’s cult novel Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, the 39-year- old Acosta had already left an enviable legacy: two critically praised novels, a high-profile turn as lead attorney for LA’s Chicano movement, a quixotic run for L.A. County Sheriff, and innumerable feats of radical activism-cum- performance art.

Yet, while Acosta’s mysterious disappearance sent shockwaves through the counterculture that had embraced him, his larger-than- life legacy soon faded tragically from memory – relegated, at best, to a supporting player in Thompson’s literary universe. The Rise and Fall of the Brown Buffalo rescues Acosta from obscurity, exploring the man’s personal and creative evolution against the backdrop of a society in turmoil, laying bare his brilliance, his contradictions, and his unique contribution to American society.

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