A Kidnapping in Milan:
The CIA on Trial

W. W. Norton & Co. (2010)

317 pages​


“[A] real-life thriller [with] many well-drawn characters . . . skillfully crafted, highly disturbing.”

Chicago Tribune

“Steve Hendricks is a gifted writer as well as a dogged sleuth, a combination that turns this account—a journey through some of the darker mazes of the war on terror—into one of those rarities: an important story, excellently told.”

Jon Lee Anderson, New Yorker staff writer

and author of The Fall of Baghdad 

“Exceptionally well written and deeply reported—a gripping novel-like book that brilliantly reconstructs one of the darker episodes of the ‘war on terror.’ ”

Peter Bergen, CNN national security
analyst and author of Holy War, Inc.

“[A]n utterly fascinating account . . . This is a how-not-to book on tradecraft that should be read and heeded.”

Washington Times

Book club selection.

Vanity Fair’s Hot Type

US News & World Report’s Political Book Club


“If the first half of the book carries all the insider tradecraft and shifting alliances of a John le Carré spy novel, the second half of the book becomes a script for a pilot episode of ‘Law & Order: Milan’ . . . . Much like le Carré, Hendricks builds his plot through a combination of biographies of multiple characters and cultural histories of multiple organizations . . . before allowing them to clash in carefully rendered scenes of intense action. In less confident hands, these biographical and historical accounts might grow tedious, but each page carries enough surprising fact and artful phrase to carry the reader forward.”


“Hendricks’ writing is propulsive, even when he backtracks into historical footnotes to provide a well-rounded purview, and voraciously readable in a Graham Greene-ish sort of way. . . . A Kidnapping in Milan is white-knuckle intrigue, exemplary journalism and capricious history disguised as yet another true-crime spy tale. Certain sections are darkly funny, others understatedly gut-wrenching.”

Missoula Independent


“Hendricks knows the United States and Italy and how to write about one for readers in the other. His remarks on Italian culture are outdone only by his background on Muslim terrorism, his account of who this kidnapping victim was, and the inclusion of dialogue picked up by Italian wiretaps of terrorism suspects’ private conversations. But just as terrific reading are Hendricks’ histories of the practice of rendition, of the use of torture, of U.S.-Italian relations, of domestic Italian terrorism, and of modern Egypt. . . . The torture [Abu Omar] received is described in all of its almost unbearable detail, [but] believe it or not, most of this book is enjoyable.”


“Hendricks combines journalistic clarity with the structure of a detective novel in Kidnapping, giving his book the urgency of a modern thriller, all the more striking for its cold reality. The book is well-researched . . . but Kidnapping never reads as a dry recitation of facts or a ponderous series of analyses. . . . Guiding the narrative is a refined sense of moral outrage against the idea that dark deeds done in the dark make our world somehow safer.”

The Unquiet Grave:
The FBI and the Struggle
for the Soul of Indian Country

Thunder's Mouth Press (2006)

512 pages

One of the 100 best books of 2006.

Publishers Weekly


“Best of the Literary Crop”: one of 12 recommended nonfiction books for 2006.

Salt Lake Tribune

One of 36 recommended nonfiction reads for 2006.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

One of 100 noteworthy books for 2006.

Kansas City Star 

“A detailed, exhaustive investigative account [from] the indefatigable Hendricks... An eye-opening, often shocking narrative fueled by the author’s outrage.”

San Francisco Chronicle


“Shocking... In its sweep, [The Unquiet Grave] is about the slow death of American Indian tribes across the United States, abetted by racist FBI agents, corrupt politicians, greedy lawyers and, to a shameful extent, many Indians themselves.”

Cleveland Plain Dealer

“The Unquiet Grave, a tautly written exposé, reads like a detective novel... The abuses [are] disturbingly detailed.”

Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch


“This revelatory book is investigative journalism at its gutsiest, at its noblest. It is a documented portrait of the FBI as an un-American agency in its shafting of Native Americans. Must reading for anybody interested in our buried passages of American history.”

Studs Terkel, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of

Hope Dies Last and The Good War

“An impressive and important book, thoroughly researched and very well written.”

Peter Matthiessen, National Book Award–winning

author of In the Spirit of Crazy Horse


“An excellent book that reopens the wounds of Wounded Knee—and that provides important new information for readers of Peter Matthiessen’s long-suppressed In the Spirit of Crazy Horse... A blistering, important work...”

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Hendricks’s swift narrative is riddled with judicial travesties, coverups, vigilantism, COINTELPRO-style tactics, mounting paranoia and lawlessness on both sides... Hendricks is careful throughout this harsh, heart-thumping account never to lose sight of the larger context.”

Publishers Weekly (starred review)


“The Unquiet Grave is a riveting anti-detective story in which the detectives—the FBI—are themselves investigated and their violations of the basic rights of Native Americans exposed. Few people know about this disturbing episode in our country’s recent past, but many should and will, thanks to Steve Hendricks’s fascinating book.”

Howard Zinn, author of

A People’s History of the United States

“With passion and elegance, Steve Hendricks has unearthed an ugly chapter in the FBI’s abusive history. Our hearts have been buried at Wounded Knee long enough. Dig ’em up and bury the FBI instead. Read this book.”

Jim Hightower, author of

Let’s Stop Beating Around the Bush



“What if we just buy off Big Fossil Fuel? [CounterPunch, 2018]

“5,000 to 1! [Slate, 2016]

“Bernie Sanders cant win?” [Columbia Journalism Review, 2015]

“The Rise of Big Generic” [Truthout, 2015]

“Starving Your Way to Vigor” [H​arper’s, 2012]

“Un ayunador no es un muerto de hambre” [Etiqueta Negra, 2012]

(Spanish version of “Starving Your Way to Vigor”) 

“The Empty Stomach: Fasting to Beat Jet Lag” [H​arper’s, 2012]

“Promised Land” [Orion, 2005]

“The Singer” [DoubleTake, 2000]


Book Reviews

“Doctor of Death and Deceit” [Washington Post, 2011]

“History’s few originals” [San Francisco Chronicle, 2004]

“Brown and Out” [Grist, 2004]

“Crossing the line—a risky journey of hope” [San Francisco Chronicle, 2004]

“Blinded by the rockets’ red glare” [San Francisco Chronicle, 2004]


“The Conflicted Legacy of Dennis Banks” [CounterPunch, 2017]

“Trumps Decent Willing Executioners, Liberally Explained” [CounterPunch, 2016]

“Hillary Clinton and the Northern Strategy” [CounterPunch, 2016]

“Come Again? Second Thoughts on Ashley Madison” [CounterPunch, 2015]

“Will FIFAs World Cup Sexism Ever Die?” [CounterPunch, 2015]

“Smeared again: The mainstream media v. Bernie Sanders” [Boulder Weekly, 2015]

“The Ghost of Anna Mae” [CounterPunch, 2014]

“Climate Devastation, Anyone?” [Salon, 2013]

“Panama Nails a CIA Torture Capo” [CounterPunch, 2013]

“More Torture, Please” [CounterPunch and History News Network, 2010]

“Thanksgiving We Can Believe In” [CounterPunch and Common Dreams, 2008]

“Unquiet Eternities” [Jesus’ General, 2007]

“Little Bighorn memorial a mixed symbol at best” [Denver Post, 2003]

“Fleece or Flannel?” [Boston Globe, 1998]


Comedic Reading

“Pseudo-Feminist Men” [Performed by Lewis Black, "The Rants Is Due," Denver, 2018]