Cover for JOHNSON: The Occupation of Alcatraz Island: Indian Self-Determination and the Rise of Indian Activism

The Occupation of Alcatraz Island

Indian Self-Determination and the Rise of Indian Activism

The occupation of Alcatraz Island by American Indians from November 20, 1969, through June 11, 1971, focused the attention of the public on Native Americans and helped lead to the development of organized Indian activism.

In this first detailed examination of the takeover, Troy Johnson tells the story of those who organized the occupation and those who participated, some by living on the island and others by soliciting donations of money, food, water, clothing, or electrical generators.

Johnson documents growing unrest in the Bay Area urban Indian population and draws on interviews with those involved to describe everyday life on Alcatraz during the nineteen-month occupation. To describe the federal government's reactions as Americans rallied in support of the Indians, he turns to federal government archives and Nixon administration files. The book is a must read for historians and others interested in the civil rights era, Native American history, and contemporary American Indian issues.

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