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Agents of Repression: The FBI's Secret Wars against the Black Panther Party & the American Indian Movement

4.33  ·  Rating Details ·  252 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
For those wondering how Bill Clinton could pardon white-collar fugitive Marc Rich but not Native American leader Leonard Peltier, important clues can be found in this classic study of the FBI's COINTELPRO (Counterintelligence Program). Agents of Repression includes an incisive historical account of the FBI siege of Wounded Knee, and reveals the viciousness of COINTELPRO ca ...more
Paperback, 550 pages
Published November 1st 2001 by South End Press (first published 1988)
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Apr 09, 2010 Cwn_annwn_13 rated it it was amazing
If you wanted to make a case that the FBI are often worse criminals than the actual criminals and serve more as a thuggish Orwellian political police than look no further than this book. Its more or less impossible to deny that the FBI time and time again has comitted and instigated sociopathic criminal behavior up to and including multiple murders. Most of Agents of Repression focuses on what was done in their campaign against the American Indian Movement in the 1970s and 1980s. There is also ...more
Jun 14, 2013 Darrell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book. Abundance of source material. This book begins with a history of the FBI. Then the book continues with the FBI involvement with the Black Panther Party and the American Indian Movement. The books main focus is on the role of the FBI as political police and the tactics and strategies the FBI uses to undermine all opposition movements to the status quo.
Very informative.
Feb 09, 2015 WendyMcP rated it it was amazing
An expose of the federal government's Cointelpro program to discredit, dismantle and destroy both the Black Panther Party and AIM (American Indian Movement) during the 1960s and early 70s. Unfortunately, the FBI succeeded, and by 1975 most of the leadership of both these radical organizations were jailed, self-exiled or murdered. A must-read for all who care about social change in this country. This is our history. Two thumbs up.
I worked through the Black Panther Party section (about a third of the book) before running out of time. I hope to come bath to Churchill's analysis of the FBI's repression of Native American resistance. Churchill weaves a pretty convincing narrative of government crookedness, and he doesn't disguise his biases. The thing is, the book is so thoroughly annotated that any argument you pick with Mr. Churchill, you also have to pick with his sources, which are numerous and sometimes arcane. The one ...more
Apr 14, 2012 Dylan added it
Recommends it for: citizens of the US
I read a long paper by Churchill on this, and I have never felt so utterly convinced of the state's commitment to perpetuating a society based on racist exploitation. Even I was shocked by the FBI's literal war against a self-defense movement which engaged in completely legal--yes, completely legal--activity. The BPP's 10 point platform is hardly more radical than the UN Declaration of Human Rights, for example. But since the demands of food, clothing, shelter, and self-determination for those ...more
Mike W
Sep 10, 2012 Mike W rated it liked it
A well researched and documented book. After finishing the book, the reader is left with skepticism and doubt about the FBI.
It is unbelievable what Hoover and the FBI was up to in the early days.

I do think the author went out of his way to trash the FBI. Mind you, it is hard to find fault with the authors' findings and conclusions. And when they are speculating, the authors state it as such. But it is frequent and always speculating that the FBI was up to no good.

It also leaves the reader with a
Feb 26, 2009 Isadora rated it it was amazing
If I didn't think this guy was one of the most awesome, well researched and articulate anti-oppression scholars and activists in the world, I might be kind of scared of him. He definitely doesn't rule out the possibility of taking up arms against the government, and he doesn't mince words. This book is key to understanding the full story of the Black Panther Party, and to just understanding the role of the police state in crushing activist movements. You will read some crazy stuff, and he ...more
Nov 25, 2007 Heidileesinclair rated it it was amazing
a must read ... there is a follow-up book by Ward Churchill called Cointelpro Papers which is mostly documentation obtained via Freedom of Information act supporting claims made in this book (though much is blacked out ...)
This book and Ward Churchill have been trashed in mainstream/right-wing press but this book is must reading for anyone interested in the future of social movements in this country ...
Ryan Mishap
Oct 23, 2008 Ryan Mishap rated it it was amazing
You. Read. Now.

Pretty much required reading for anyone involved in radical politics, or even progressive causes. The authorities lump us all together anyway. There is interesting, infuriating history here and warnings to take away, but don't let it make you too paranoid--not everyone who disagrees with you or who you don't like is "COINTELPRO."
Oct 21, 2009 Max rated it really liked it
I read this in college alongside A Taste of Power -- it was amazing series of parallels reading about the implementation of COINTEL programs and see how they were being perceived from within one of the targeted groups.
Apr 29, 2012 Fawn rated it it was amazing
Powerful book on attempts by Nixon administration to squash movements in the U.S. Of particular interest, was the American Indian Movement. Great detail and research included with photos, interviews, and news stories.
Feb 02, 2008 Joshy rated it it was amazing
Ward Churchill got the shaft at the University of Colorado. Free speech, my ass. Best professor I had, with the exception of James Kimble in the philosophy department. That's what you get for standing up.
Jan 19, 2009 Theeba rated it it was amazing
Apart from all the criticisms of Ward Churchill, This book was one of the first books that opened my eyes to the truth behind all the infiltration projects supported and carried out by the FBI and the CIA.
read this if you want a real dose of history!
Jun 21, 2007 Alex rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading this book is like a nightmare. That's how scary it is. Some of it is hard to believe, you don't want to believe it, but it's real. It's unfathomable, but it's real.
Steven Fake
Sep 25, 2008 Steven Fake rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics
The best book on the US government repression of the American Indian Movement in the 70s (also has excellent treatment of the crushing of the Black Panthers) that I am aware of.
Jun 15, 2007 Josh rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always knew the FBI was a fucked up inherently evil organization. Here is the proof. A little biased but a good read about an interesting period in American history.
Mirza  Sultan-Galiev
All in all an excellent book, but it makes some very dubious assertions related to Italian anarchists and the Palmer raids near the beginning.
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American Indian writer, political activist and former professor of ethnic studies in Colorado at Boulder from 1990 till 2007.

Churchill`s writings are mostly about the history of the American Indians and what he calls the genocide on the indigenous people of North America.

An essay of him where he claimed the 9/11 attacks on the world trade center were a response to America`s foreign policy, sparked
More about Ward Churchill...

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