- Paperback: 224 pages
- Published: 7/4/16
- IBSN: 9781617754500
- e-IBSN: 9781617754524
- IBSN: 9781617754494
- Genre: Nonfiction
Kovic’s impassioned, timely memoir about the American Veterans Movement picks up where Born on the Fourth of July leaves off.
“Hurricane Street . . . [is] another raw expose on the cost of war. The book, which he calls a prequel, drills deep into the 17-day drama of a 1974 sit-in and hunger strike staged by Kovic and a band of fellow wounded veterans who took the federal building on Wilshire Boulevard by storm . . . The book is an unflinching anti-war declaration, written in blood and the sweat of too many haunted nights by a Vietnam Marine Corps sergeant who later opposed the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
—Los Angeles Times
“The author of Born on the Fourth of July (1976) recounts the brief 1974 movement he initiated to change how Veterans Affairs hospitals cared for wounded soldiers . . . The great strength of this book is that the author never minces words. With devastating candor, he memorializes a short-lived but important movement and the men who made it happen. Sobering reflections on past treatment of America’s injured war veterans.”
“[A] compelling snapshot of early 1980s activism. . . . Without social media or cell phones to boost the signal, it was Kovic’s flair for the dramatic and ability to marshal reporters that turned the protest into a battle victory. . . . Kovic’s updates on the fates of his fellow veterans provide a memorable and bittersweet conclusion.”
“The author of the bestseller Born on the Fourth of July writes an impassioned and timely memoir about the 1974 American Veterans Movement that will strike a chord with veterans and their families today.”
—Publishers Weekly, Top 10 Pick for Spring 2016
“Kovic, a Vietnam veteran paralyzed from the waist down and the author of the seminal war memoir Born on the Fourth of July (1976), looks back to the spring of 1974, when he led a two-week hunger strike in the Los Angeles office of U.S. Senator Alan Cranston . . . Kovic’s personal tale is also a timely topical book as veterans’ mental and physical health care remain woefully insufficient.”
“Kovic has also penned a new book, Hurricane Street, that will be released on July 4th. The new book recounts how in 1974, the author and other injured veterans staged a sit-in and hunger strike to demand better treatment for vets.”
“Renowned antiwar activist Kovic, a Vietnam veteran, delivers a powerful memoir detailing his organization of the American Veterans Movement (AVM) during the mid-1970s . . . This chronicle will resonate with those interested in the all-too-human effects of war and the challenges faced by our wounded warriors.”
“Forty years after the release of Born on the Fourth of July, the 1976 memoir that became the 1989 Academy Award-winning film starring Tom Cruise, author Ron Kovic gives us Hurricane Street, a memoir about his 1974 movement to change the way Veterans Affairs hospitals cared for wounded soldiers.”
“Forty years ago the Vietnam vet from Massapequa—wounded in combat and in a wheelchair ever since—published his classic war memoir, later made into a film with Tom Cruise. The anniversary edition features a foreword by Bruce Springsteen. Kovic’s new book, Hurricane Street, chronicles the 1970s activism of the American Veterans Movement.”
“In January 1968, U.S. Marine Ron Kovic was fighting near My Loc, Republic of Vietnam, when an enemy bullet paralyzed him from the chest down. He became one of the war’s best-known opponents. In 1976, the Massapequa, New York, resident published a searing memoir, Born of the Fourth of July. A 1989 film adaptation earned Kovic a Golden Globe for scriptwriting. An advocate for peace and veterans’ causes, he has brought out a 40th-anniversary edition of his memoir and a new book, Hurricane Street, about a hunger strike he and fellow veterans staged in 1974 to protest Veterans Administration lapses.”
— American History Magazine
“Hurricane Street is a powerful sequel to Born on the Fourth of July. It is a harrowing, poignant telling of the American Veteran’s Movement and its members’ struggles against the government as well as themselves. The book is a must read in war and peace time. War is hell; peace can be just as brutal.”
—Manhattan Book Review
“Kovic is a double hero. He served with distinction and honor in a despicable war. And, once injured, he vigorously protested that his country would send what used to be called ‘the flower of youth’ to be exposed to possible injury or death, and, at the same time, force them to learn one of the hardest lessons of war . . . By his singular acts of rebellion, Kovic taught many of us that the price of international violence is high, for it not only destroys ‘the enemy,’ whoever that may be, but also those who are supposed to be on ‘our side,’ which ever that may be.”
“There is nothing quiet about Hurricane Street. . . which is based primarily on the diary entries Kovic made during the nineteen days he and other veterans took over Cranston’s office . . . This book is an evocative look at a band of dedicated, activist Vietnam War veterans and what they tried to do to better the lot of their fellow veterans.”
“Kovic’s latest work documents a 1974 sit-in and hunger strike staged by himself and other veterans in wheelchairs in the office of then-U.S. Sen. Alan Cranston.”
“In Hurricane Street, an equally brilliant chronicle of resistance, Kovic offers a deeply moving account of the struggle of Vietnam veterans to hold politicians accountable to the maimed warriors they sent into harm’s way and then abandoned.”
“Throughout the memoir, Kovic focuses on the poor treatment of America’s wounded veterans while painting a gripping portrait of early 1970s activism. Though Hurricane Street recalls events from the past, the discussion of veterans’ rights remains highly relevant today, with continuing reports of delays and negligence at Veterans Affairs hospitals.”
“Hurricane Street recounts the true story of a group of severely disabled Vietnam Veterans recently returned home from the war, recovering in the Long Beach VA Hospital. This is a true story (some characters are a combination of several wounded veterans Kovic knew during that period) about a rag-tag group of men who stage a sit-in and hunger strike in February of 1974 for 17 days in Senator Alan Cranston’s office at the VA on Wilshire Boulevard, demanding better care for returning Vietnam Veterans.”
—The Torrance Tribune
“Forty years after his Born on the Fourth of July memoir came out and 27 years after Oliver Stone’s movie got Tom Cruise his first Oscar nomination, the paralyzed Marine sergeant who became a face of Vietnam veterans’ anti-war protests is back. . . . In this ‘work of both memory and fiction,’ Kovic explains his and fellow patients’ 18-day hunger strike—against Long Beach’s ‘atrocious’ VA hospital—while occupying Sen. Alan Cranston’s Los Angeles office.”
“In his farewell letter to the American people, President George Washington warned about ‘the impostures of pretended patriotism.’ That is the precise warning that another great and true patriot, Ron Kovic, has been echoing ever since he penned his first classic war memoir some four decades ago. In Hurricane Street, an equally brilliant chronicle of resistance, Kovic offers a deeply moving account of the struggle of Vietnam veterans to hold politicians accountable to the maimed warriors they sent into harm’s way and then abandoned.”
—Robert Scheer, author of They Know Everything About You
Praise for Ron Kovic:
“Classic and timeless!”
—New York Times, on Born on the Fourth of July
“A great courageous fellow, a man of deep moral convictions and an uncompromising disposition.”
—Secretary of State John Kerry, on Ron Kovic
“As relevant as ever, Born on the Fourth of July is an education. Ron is a true American, and his great heart and hard-won wisdom shine through these pages.”
—Oliver Stone, filmmaker
In the spring of 1974, as the last American troops were being pulled out of Vietnam, Ron Kovic and a small group of other severely injured veterans in a California VA hospital launched the American Veterans Movement. In a phenomenal feat of political organizing, Kovic corralled his fellow AVM members into staging a sit-in, and then a hunger strike, in the Los Angeles office of Senator Alan Cranston, demanding better treatment of injured and disabled veterans.
This was a short-lived and chaotic but ultimately successful movement to improve the deplorable conditions in VA hospitals across the country. Hurricane Street is their story—one that resonates deeply today—told by Kovic in the passionate and brutally honest style that led to over one million sales of Born on the Fourth of July.
Click here to listen to Robert Scheer interview Ron Kovic about the continuing struggle for American veterans for KCRW’s Scheer Intelligence.
Read a profile on Ron Kovic at the Los Angeles Times.
Listen to interviews with Ron Kovic at Background Briefing with Ian Masters, WAMC Northeast Public Radio, The Exchange on Jefferson Public Radio, WORT Radio Madison, and the Steve Fast Show on WJBC Radio.
Read about the Manhattan Beach Pages Bookstore event for Hurricane Street at Easy Reader News.
RON KOVIC served two tours of duty during the Vietnam War. He was paralyzed from his chest down in combat in 1968 and has been in a wheelchair ever since. Along with Oliver Stone, Kovic was the coscreenwriter of the 1989 Academy Award–winning film based on Kovic’s best-selling memoir Born on the Fourth of July (starring Tom Cruise as Kovic). Hurricane Street is his latest work.