For our fortieth anniversary, the editors of Rolling Stone have interviewed twenty artists and leaders who helped shape our time. Over the next four weeks, every day, we'll be debuting exclusive audio clips from the Q&As, giving you unparalleled access to some of the most important personalities in history.
First up is Norman Mailer, the literary icon and one of the framers of New Journalism. In a sprawling interview with Mark Binelli, Mailer gives his take on taking drugs, President Bush and the future of America.
• On marijuana's superiority to psychedelics for tapping into life's mysteries, and why Timothy Leary was a "vapid asshole."
• On why Bush would've committed Hari Kari by now if he really cared about America, and what exactly Nixon's "inner light" might've smelled like.
• On the pursuit of knowledge in the "deadening" mediocrity of the Internet age.
• On who's cut out for the Oval Office in 2008 -- and why being a phony can be a good thing.
• On why TV commercials are the anti-Proust.
Come back tomorrow for the next installment of our twenty-part audio interviews, featuring the biggest pop culture icons of the last 40 years. Can you guess which giant of American history said this? Find out who tomorrow...
"In the last week I've had this recurring dream about having a club. I would go to someplace, some very faraway place...Maybe it's like a Casablanca dream...someplace that musicians would want to go, and say 'Well, you can come here for a week or two weeks on vacation and you'd just have to make music while you're here. You can go live in this little town in Costa Rica and all you have to do is sing for us.'"