On a hot June morning in 1975, a shoot-out between FBI agents and American Indians erupted on a reservation near Wounded Knee in South Dakota. Two FBI agents and one Indian died. Eventually four Indians, all members of the American Indian Movement (AIM) were indicted on murder charges, Twenty-two years late, one of them, Leonard Peltier, is still serving two consecutive life sentences.
The story of what really happened and why Matthiessen is convinced of Peltier's innocence, forms the central narrative in this classic work of investigative reporting. But Mathiessen also reveals the larger issues behind the Pine Ridge shoot-out: systematic discrimination by the white authorities; corporate determination to exploit the uranium deposits in the Black Hills; the breaking of treaties; and FBI hostility towards the AIM, which was set up to bring just such issues to light.
When this book was first published it was immediately the subject of two $25 million-dollar legal actions that attempted to suppress it permanently. After eight years of court battles, ending with a Supreme Court judgement, Mathiessen won the right to tell Peltier's and his people's story.
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Number of pages: 688
Weight: 760 g
Dimensions: 215 x 135 x 33 mm
"One of the book's most gratifying elements is the method by which Matthiessen balances his outrage at the treatment of Peltier and his people with the cold, cool tone of the investigative reporter. He lets everyone have their say" -- Stephen Amidon * Financial Times *
"By the time I had turned the final page, I felt angry enough... to want to shout from the rooftops, 'Wake up America, before it's too late'" -- Nick Kotz * Washington Post *
"Peter Matthiessen presents a convincing case not only for a retrial of Leonard Peltier, but also for a re-examination of the real cost of the American Dream - in human lives, in the mockery of justice, in a squandered earth" -- Carol Van Strum * USA Today *