American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Aug 2, 2016 - True Crime - 368 pages
20 Reviews
A National Bestseller

From New Yorker staff writer and bestselling author of The Nine and The Run of His Life: The People v. O. J. Simpson, the definitive account of the kidnapping and trial that defined an insane era in American history

On February 4, 1974, Patty Hearst, a sophomore in college and heiress to the Hearst Family fortune, was kidnapped by a ragtag group of self-styled revolutionaries calling itself the Symbonese Liberation Army. The weird turns that followed in this already sensational take are truly astonishing--the Hearst family tried to secure Patty's release by feeding the people of Oakland and San Francisco for free; bank security cameras captured "Tania" wielding a machine gun during a roberry; the LAPD engaged in the largest police shoot-out in American history; the first breaking news event was broadcast live on telelvision stations across the country; and then there was Patty's circuslike trial, filled with theatrical courtroom confrontations and a dramatic last-minute reversal, after which the term "Stockholm syndrome" entered the lexicon. 

Ultimately, the saga highlighted a decade in which America seemed to be suffering a collective nervous breakdown. American Heiress portrays the electrifying lunacy of the time and the toxic mic of sex, politics, and violence that swept up Patty Hearst and captivated the nation.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - mjspear - LibraryThing

The definitive book on the kidnapping, crimes, and trial of Patty Campbell Hearst. The title pretty much gives it away: Author Toobin believes that were it not for Ms Hearst's "social status" along ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - stevesmits - LibraryThing

An interesting and well-researched account of the one of the most notorious criminal/legal episodes of the 1970’s. Toobin’s access to mountains of documents provides a detailed recapitulation of Patty ... Read full review


Nervous Breakdown Nation
From Inside the Trunk
The Point of No Return
Prisoner of
The Gentlest Most Beautiful Man
Jack Scott Makes an Offer
Road Trip
The Streets of Sacramento
Death of a Bourgeois Pig
Feminist BombMaking
There Will Be a Revolution in Amerikkka and Well

Not Just a Bunch of Nuts
Three Hundred Bald
Im a Strong Woman
The Birth of Tania
Stay and Fight
Common Criminals
Showdown at Mels
Live on Television
Apocalypse on FiftyFourth Street
Your EverLoving Momma and Poppa Care About
More Excited Than Scared
The Search for Old McMonkey
The Verdict
Favoring the Rich over the Poor
Authors Note
Selected Bibliography
Photo Credits

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About the author (2016)

JEFFREY TOOBIN is the bestselling author of The Nine, for which he won the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize, The Oath, Too Close to Call, A Vast Conspiracy, and The Run of His Life, which was made into the critically acclaimed FX series The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story. He is a staff writer at The New Yorker and the senior legal analyst at CNN.

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