From Wounded Knee to Checkpoint Charlie

The Alliance for Sovereignty between American Indians and Central Europeans in the Late Cold War

By György Ferenc Tóth

Subjects: Indigenous Studies
Series: SUNY series, Tribal Worlds: Critical Studies in American Indian Nation Building
Paperback : 9781438461229, 332 pages, January 2017
Hardcover : 9781438461212, 332 pages, May 2016

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Table of contents


Introduction: Indians at Checkpoint Charlie

1. “Playing Indian” Revisited: American Indians in the Transatlantic Cultural Landscape
2. There Ain’t No Red in the American Flag: The Indian Sovereignty Movement as a Transnational Challenge to the U. S. Nation State

3. The Rise of the Transatlantic Sovereignty Alliance

4. The Politics of Solidarity in the Transatlantic Sovereignty Alliance

5. “Red” Nations: Marxist Solidarity and the Radical Indian Sovereignty Movement

6. A Trail of New Treaties: Performing American Indian Rights at the United Nations
Photo gallery follows page 168

7. States of Control: U. S. Government Responses to the Transnational Sovereignty Movement

Conclusion: The Transatlantic Sovereignty Alliance and Its Legacy


A historical analysis of the transatlantic relations of the American Indian radical sovereignty movement of the late Cold War.


From Wounded Knee to Checkpoint Charlie examines the history of the transatlantic alliance between American Indian sovereignty activists and Central European solidarity groups, and their entry into the United Nations in the 1970s and 1980s. In the late Cold War, Native American activists engaged in transnational diplomacy for nation building by putting outside pressure on the US government for a more progressive Indian policy that reached for the full decolonization of Native American communities into independence. By using extensive multinational archival research complemented by interviews, György Ferenc Tóth investigates how older transatlantic images of American Indians influenced the alliance between Native activists and Central European groups, how this coalition developed and functioned, and how the US government and the regimes of the Eastern Bloc responded to this transatlantic alliance. This book not only places the American Indian radical sovereignty movement in an international context, but also recasts it as a transnational struggle, thus connecting domestic US social and political history to the history of Cold War transatlantic relations and global movements.

György Ferenc Tóth is Lecturer of US History and Transatlantic Relations at the University of Stirling in Scotland.


"Tóth provides a solidly argued and researched archival study that should be of value to scholars with an interest in Native American transnational studies as well as those in the field of international relations interested in indigenous issues … Tóth provides a detailed, nuanced, and well-articulated study of the transnational linkages, and demonstrates that they were influential. " — H-Net Reviews (H-AmIndian)