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The Unquiet Grave: The FBI and the Struggle for the Soul of Indian Country
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The Unquiet Grave: The FBI and the Struggle for the Soul of Indian Country

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  117 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
In 1976 the body of Anna Mae Aquash, an American Indian luminary, was found frozen in the Badlands of South Dakota—or so the FBI said. After a suspicious autopsy and a rushed burial, friends had Aquash exhumed and found a .32-caliber bullet in her skull. Using this scandal as a point of departure, The Unquiet Grave opens a tunnel into the dark side of the FBI and its subve ...more
Hardcover, 544 pages
Published October 2nd 2006 by Da Capo Press (first published September 1st 2006)
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Aug 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent successor to Matthiessen's "In the Spirit of Crazy Horse" and breaks ground well beyond that book.

First, despite the most arduous FBI efforts to fight his every FOIA request, to do CIA-level blackouts on what it did release and more, Hendricks has more information at hand. He's got enough to make the quite proper judgement that what the FBI did to the American Indian Movement was unarguably part of the notorious COINTELPRO.

And, it worked far better than against black civil r
Ami Nicholson
Oct 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This novel covers the great many civil rights violations experienced the Native Americans in the 1960's and 1970's. In the early chapters, Hendricks discussed the murder of Anna Mae Pictou-Aquash, a member of the AIM movement who was later feared to be an informant for the FBI. Aquash was a freedom fighter, and joined the movement to try to put an end to the injustices that plagued the people of South Dakota and the Pine Ridge Reservation. She was not an informant, and the FBI's role in her deat ...more
Jo Stafford
Jun 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I've just finished this book and I'm seething with anger at the events Hendricks describes. This is a searing indictment of the FBI's creation of a poisonous atmosphere of paranoia in the American Indian Movement that had fatal consequences (as did the FBI's practically identical attacks on the Black Panther Party). In this fast-paced narrative, Hendricks combines his skills as an investigative reporter with his intense sympathy with the Lakota people to produce a work that details the injustice ...more
Rena Jane
May 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is a great follow up to Peter Mathiasson's In the Spirit of Crazy Horse. It goes into more detail about the FBI and BIA coverups of Anna Mae Aquash's death as well as the poorly conducted trial of Leonard Peltier, and brings all the unsolved murders and political machinations up to date. Steve Hendricks is a very brave and courageous writer, and we all owe him a debt of gratitude for exposing the corruption of many of the leaders and politcal powers in Indian Country.

Kate Walsh
Dec 01, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone interested in FBI ridiculousness/history of AIM
Reads fast, with some absolutely hilarious moments, but overall, a bit frightening and depressing. Schizophrenic CIA agents, rogue BIA bureaucrats setting up their own roadblocks, citizen's arrests, shootouts, deception, and proof positive that the FBI is completely out of control.
So far, this is the best book I've read on AIM, the FBI, and Wounded Knee II. Steve did hard research for all parties involved. He didn't vilify any groups, but told the story based on his many interviews and research, and also let the reader know who rejected interviews, who withheld important information from him, etc. He has a nice writing style that brought the story to life.
Dec 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
The left-wing slant sometimes is distracting, but overall, Hendricks did a good job showing that there weren't many "good guys" in the sensational battles and incidents between the American Indian Movement and federal and tribal authorities in the 1970s. Journalists really aren't "unbiased." But they do have to be "fair" and Hendricks did his best to get everyone's point of view even though he clearly has no love for the FBI. He also did important work prying FBI documents out of the bureaucrats ...more
Nov 15, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I'm an archaeologist and have a lot of respect for Native Americans and their history. This book was hard to read and quite sad. While I knew that Indians have hard lives with trying to keep their culture while assimulating into the majority, it was surprising (though not very) that they still have been treated badly so recently.

I find is hard to believe that people can treat others of a different culture in such a way. I can only hope that those who read this begin to understand that different
May 15, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: future Howard Zinns
Shelves: indigenous
While the book's writing style did not match my reading style, I appreciated the author's honest and solid journalism, his decision to delve into a very important topic concerning modern Indigenous American history (and, indeed, all American history), and his utmost respect for the Lakota people and nation.
Jan 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-nonfiction, ndn
very informative. i din't even know that the govt had the laser technology to listen into conversations and spy even in the 70's. crazy. this book does areally good job of explaining the issues w/the govr, the BIA, and the tribal tragedies at wounded knee. it gets a bit convoluded in about the 3rd quarter, but overall it's very educational.
Jan 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
A continuation of what "The Spirit of Crazy Horse" explores. The Sould of Indian Country in the 1970s. A carefully researched study of AIM and the FBI, with long-delayed access to FOIA-acquired FBI data from the 70s. Publihed in 2006, it is an essential follow-up to Peter Matthiessen's "In the Spirit of Crazy Horse," last updated in 1991.
Lorna Rose-hahn
Feb 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Good writing, meticulous research. If you've ever wondered what happened on Pine Ridge Indian Res in the 1960s, what AIM is, why the Indian population continues to struggle today, or simply want a good nonfiction piece, read this.
H. L.  Mullins-Owens
A fascinating and disturbing account of a corrupt FBI that turned a blind eye to justice for far too long. Details of the death of Anna Me Aquash and the trials of AIM are discussed with new information that the author uncovered. Investigative journalism at its best!
Not very well written but informative about an engaging subject.
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
Jun 28, 2007 marked it as decided-not-to-read
Decided that the topic doesn't interest me enough right now to compete with all the other stuff on my list. Some other time, maybe.
Jeff Youngblood
Apr 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Not a bad read. However its typical Indian propaganda against the FBI. Full of contradictions. The author uses his interpretation of events to suit his anti FBI agenda
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Steve Hendricks is a freelance reporter. He is the author of A Kidnapping in Milan and The Unquiet Grave: The FBI and the Struggle for the Soul of Indian Country, which was named to several best-of-the-year lists in 2006. He lives in Tennessee and Montana.
More about Steve Hendricks...