American Heiress
American Heiress The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst By Toobin, Jeffrey Book - 2016 | First edition.

Those of us of a certain age remember the kidnapping of Patricia Hearst. Jeffrey Toobin revisits that turbulent time in an interesting new book, “American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst”. As the title suggests, it really was a wild saga. The 19 year old daughter of a wealthy and privileged family was kidnapped by a ragtag bunch called the Symbionese Liberation Army. They fancied themselves as revolutionaries, and after a few weeks of captivity, Patty decided to join the revolution. Amazing. It sounds like the plot of a bad Movie-of-the-Week. In retrospect, the tale of Patty Hearst seems like one of the last big, news-dominating events of the 60’s, even though her kidnapping didn’t happen until 1974. The chaos and tumult of the 60’s did not stop when the calendar changed to 1970. It was an unstable time and there were many acts of what would now be called domestic terrorism. To be clear, at first Patty Hearst was the victim of a brutal, terrifying abduction. Eventually, though, she became a willing member of the SLA. She wanted excitement and to be liberated from her boring family, her boring boyfriend, and her boring existence. She participated in serious SLA crimes and had many opportunities to go back to her former life. But she had no desire to do so, not until 19 months after the abduction, when she was caught and jailed. Jeffrey Toobin unearthed and embraced the details, then wrote the definitive account of one of the more unusual events in American history.

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