Paul Chaat Smith

Like a Hurricane

Like a Hurricane: The Indian Movement from Alcatraz to Wounded Knee

Like a Hurricane: The Indian Movement from Alcatraz to Wounded Knee

"Marvelous and affecting... . a story book to be read aloud or on long nights when sleep won't come, a pan-tribal book about race and racial conflict, about blood descendants and faith and the urban landscape and federal Indian policy. About homelands and grief, and the 'hurricanes' of fleeting moments when a cause taken to its zenith changed Indian lives forever."

- Elizabeth Cook-Lynn, Indian Country Today


It's the mid-1960's, and everyone is fighting back. Black Americans are fighting for civil rights, the counterculture is trying to subvert the Vietnam War, and women are fighting for their liberations. Indians were fighting, too, thought it's a fight few have documented, and even fewer remember. At the time, newspapers and television broadcast were filled with images of Indian activists staging dramatic events such as the seizure of Alcatraz in 1969, the storming of the Bureau of Indian Affairs building on the eve of Nixon's re-election in 1972, and the American Indian Movement (AIM)-supported seizure of Wounded Knee by the Oglala Sioux in 1973. Like a Hurricane puts these events into historical context and provides one of the first narrative accounts of that momentous period.
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Bob Dylan once described the decade he reluctantly owned this way: 'It was like a flying saucer that landed. Everybody heard about it, but only a few saw it.' If that was generally true for the often surrealistic, flesh-and-blood carnival of the 1960s, it was a particularly dead-on description for the fast and furious campaign American Indian activists waged during that time. For most of those who did not directly experience the surge of activism it has all but faded from memory.
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Reviews for Like a Hurricane: The Indian Movement from Alcatraz to Wounded Knee

A well-documented, highly readable history of three turbulent years in the history of Native America. Essential reading for anyone interested in the course of contemporary American Indian politics.
- Kirkus Reviews
Detailed, lively history. Smith and Warrior write clearly and dramatically; they have researched and interviewed well; and although unabashed partisans of the Indian cause, they are frank and even-handed to a point that might be painful to AIM diehards...
- Publishers Weekly
The authors discuss all three heavily symbolic and media-dependent events with clear-eyed scrutiny, lauding personal heroism while recognizing instances of flawed leadership… Recommended for academic and public libraries.
- Library Journal
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Paul Chaat Smith