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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 subversion of American Indian activists. But the book also discovers things the Indians would prefer to keep buried. What unfolds is a sinuous tale of conspiracy, murder, and cover-up that stretches from the plains of South Dakota to the polished corridors of Washington, D.C. First-time author Steve Hendricks sued the FBI over several years to pry out thousands of unseen documents about the events. His work was supported by the prestigious Fund for Investigative Journalism. Hendricks, who has freelanced for The Nation, Boston Globe, Orion, and public radio, is one of those rare reporters whose investigative tenacity is accompanied by grace with the written word.
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Steve Hendricks is an investigative journalist who has written for publications including the San Francisco Chronicle, The Nation, the Boston Globe, DoubleTake, and Seattle Weekly. Educated at Yale, he spent four years researching The Unquiet Grave while living in Montana. He now lives in Knoxville, Tennessee, with his wife and son.From Publishers Weekly:
Starred Review. Investigative journalist Hendricks significantly updates the story of the American Indian Movement (AIM) to reclaim civil and treaty rights, which has been generally underreported and lacked substantial book-length treatment since Peter Matthiessen's In the Spirit of Crazy Horse (1983). Bracketed by the 1976 murder of AIM activist Anna Mae Aquash and the 2004 trial related to it, Hendricks's swift narrative is riddled with judicial travesties, coverups, vigilantism, COINTELPRO-style tactics, mounting paranoia and lawlessness on both sides, as activists and ordinary American Indians confront the devastating neglect and outright hostility of government authorities. Based on reams of newly released official documents (many the result of the author's own Freedom of Information Act lawsuits) and interviews with many surviving actors and witnesses, the book's committed journalism doesn't leave its sympathies in doubt, while also holding AIM's militants responsible for their actions. Hendricks is careful throughout this harsh, heart-thumping account never to lose sight of the larger context. "Aquash," he persuasively reminds us, "was murdered because the government of the United States waged an officially sanctioned, covert war on the country's foremost movement for Indian rights." (Sept. 1)
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