"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."
-- Library Journal
"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."
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
In this brief but compelling snapshot of early 1970s activism, Kovic recalls the sit-in and hunger strike he led in 1974 to protest the poor quality of the care he and other disabled Vietnam veterans were receiving at the VA hospital in Long Beach, Calif. He sets the mood quickly with references to the era's music and vivid descriptions of the hospital's grim environment. Stirred by deplorable conditions and corrupt aides, Kovic eventually writes a book (Born on the 4th of July, the basis for the 1989 blockbuster film of the same name) and organizes the protest depicted here. Kovic selected the site strategically: it was the office of California senator Al Cranston, chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, who was up for re-election at the time. The small group of Vietnam veterans, in wheelchairs and wearing combat medals, made for dramatic news footage when they appeared at Cranston's office one morning and turned it into a "makeshift VA hospital ward." 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. His account of subsequent, less successful protests could easily have been omitted, but Kovic's updates on the fates of his fellow veterans provide a memorable and bittersweet conclusion.