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

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

Jeffrey Toobin Paul Michael / Oct 26, 2020

American Heiress The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst From New Yorker staff writer and bestselling author Jeffrey Toobin the definitive account of the kidnapping and trial that defined an insane era in American historyOn February Patty Hearst

  • Title: American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst
  • Author: Jeffrey Toobin Paul Michael
  • ISBN: 9780449807514
  • Page: 499
  • Format: Audiobook
  • From New Yorker staff writer and bestselling author Jeffrey Toobin, the definitive account of the kidnapping and trial that defined an insane era in American historyOn February 4, 1974, Patty Hearst, a senior in college and heiress to the Hearst family fortune, was kidnapped by a ragtag group of self styled revolutionaries calling itself the Symbionese Liberation Army TheFrom New Yorker staff writer and bestselling author Jeffrey Toobin, the definitive account of the kidnapping and trial that defined an insane era in American historyOn February 4, 1974, Patty Hearst, a senior in college and heiress to the Hearst family fortune, was kidnapped by a ragtag group of self styled revolutionaries calling itself the Symbionese Liberation Army The already sensational story took the first of many incredible twists on April 3, when the group released a tape of Patty saying she had joined the SLA and had adopted the nom de guerre Tania The weird turns of the tale are truly astonishing the Hearst family trying to secure Patty s release by feeding all the people of Oakland and San Francisco for free the photographs capturing Tania wielding a machine gun during a bank robbery a cast of characters including everyone from Bill Walton to the Black Panthers to Ronald Reagan to F Lee Bailey the largest police shoot out in American history the first breaking news event to be broadcast live on television stations across the country Patty s year on the lam, running from authorities and her circuslike trial, filled with theatrical courtroom confrontations and a dramatic last minute reversal, after which the phrase Stockholm syndrome entered the lexicon The saga of Patty Hearst highlighted a decade in which America seemed to be suffering a collective nervous breakdown Based on than a hundred interviews and thousands of previously secret documents, American Heiress thrillingly recounts the craziness of the times there were an average of 1500 terrorist bombings a year in the early 1970s Toobin portrays the lunacy of the half baked radicals of the SLA and the toxic mix of sex, politics, and violence that swept up Patty Hearst and recreates her melodramatic trial American Heiress examines the life of a young woman who suffered an unimaginable trauma and then made the stunning decision to join her captors crusade Or did she

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      Posted by:Jeffrey Toobin Paul Michael
      Published :2020-07-26T18:06:44+00:00

    About "Jeffrey Toobin Paul Michael"

      • Jeffrey Toobin Paul Michael

        Lawyer, author, legal correspondent for CNN and The New Yorker magazine.


    318 Comments

    1. I remember seeing this on the news, Patty Hearst's kidnapping, her picture carrying a gun into the bank as they robbed it and her subsequent capture eighteen months or so later. But, this is all I knew. Never knew what came later, was fairly young and probably more interested in my own life at that point. Tobin does a fantastic job, explaining the radical undercurrents of the seventies, details about all those in the SLA never knew they were so small a group. How unprepared the FBI was in dealin [...]


    2. “[A]t each stage of her life, Patricia [Hearst] used the tools at her disposal. She was a straightforward person, and starting on February 4, 1974, she reacted to her challenges in rational ways. Surrounded by passionate, charismatic outlaws who told her that the police were out to kill them all, Patricia joined them in a pact of mutual self-defense; when the police did in fact kill nearly all of them, Patricia hit the road with her comrades to try to escape. Little wonder that in such emotion [...]


    3. Holy crap is it just me or are all terrorist cut from the same pathetic loser cloth? It's shocking that some things never changed. Oh and I listened to this on audio. Fantastic reader. Highly recommend.


    4. In this brilliantly crafted piece of non-fiction, Toobin explores one of the most sensational events of the 1970s, which commenced with the kidnapping of teenager Patricia Campbell Hearst. In a decade still hungover on the push for counterculture and raging against the Man, the capture and turning of Patty Hearst illuminated how things had changed from the active 1960s, where change through any mean was acceptable. Toobin uses the early portion of the book to lay the groundwork for Hearst kidnap [...]


    5. I went into this slowly, anticipating that it would be interesting for the first few chapters and then bog down in courtroom dreariness in the last half of the book. I need not have worried, as Mr Toobin has managed to hold the reader's interest throughout, even in the stuffy confines of the courtroom.When you are writing non-fiction tales that present still-living persons in a less than flattering light, it behooves you to do your research. Jeffrey Toobin has researched this thing to death, and [...]


    6. 3.5 stars. I listened to the audio of American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst. This piece of history is fascinating because following the kidnapping, it is evident that Hearst participated actively in some of the criminal activities of her captors. Toobin’s account of the story focuses on some of the discrepancies between what actually happened while Hearst was held captive on the one hand, and her defence at trial and account of what happened after [...]


    7. American Heiress by Jeffrey Toobin is a 2016 Doubleday publication.In 1974, I was too young to understand the constant news coverage of the Patty Hearst kidnapping. I do have memories of the story making headlines for what seemed like forever. But, I honestly had no interest in the debate surrounding her guilt or innocence. As I got older, I developed a curiosity about the case and hoped to find a book on the subject that would not have an agenda attached to it, or was slanted in some way. I wan [...]


    8. “Seventeen minutes after 9 p.m. on Feb. 4, 1974, two college students, 25-year-old Steven Weed and 19-year-old Patricia Hearst, were having a quiet evening at home when they were surprised by a knock on the door. A woman said she’d backed into Ms. Hearst’s car and asked if she could come in and use their phone. Before the young couple could reply, two armed men barged through the door, demanding money. Mr. Weed said, ‘Take my wallet. Take anything you want.’ They did, they took Ms. Hea [...]


    9. I was twenty-four years old and living in the Bay Area when Patty Hearst was kidnapped. It was without a doubt one of the strangest things to happen during the counter-culture movement of the late sixties – early seventies.Toobin retells the story of Hearst’s kidnapping and her conversion to an SLA member. He has unusual insight into Hearst’s motives and actions. I believe that his telling of the story and his insights are 100 percent accurate.Toobin believes she willingly became a member [...]


    10. Jeffrey Toobin (or the title gurus that be) hit the nail on the head with the adjective - WILD - in the subtitle. The Patty Hearst story is indeed wild . . . AND . . . bizarre, macabre, vile, mind-blowing, irreverent, illogical, and sociologically and psychologically way outside the bounds of anything resembling normal, yet quite in-step with the restless, hate-fueled mindset of the seventies counterculture rebels - those with and without a definable cause. And let me just say, American Heiress [...]


    11. I wanted to read this because I remember very little about Patty Heart’s kidnaping. Mostly that she was kidnaped, the infamous picture of her during the bank robbery, and that after she was caught, her defense was that she was brainwashed. Mr Toobin fills in all the gaps. I am someone who likes details and there is no shortage of that in this book. Not only does he provide us with a lot of information, he makes it interesting and sometimes even funny. I have found this to be the case with his [...]


    12. The stupid runs very deep in this story. Patricia Hearst was young and ignorant and self-centered; the revolutionaries were pretty much morons, or delusional at best; the FBI wasn't any too sharp The other notable characteristic of the people featured in this book is a marked lack of loyalty. That is, among the SLA there seemed to be cohesion – sort of, for some, sometimes – but Patricia Hearst's erstwhile fiancé Steve Weed seems to have been the weediest and weaseliest of weeds, universall [...]


    13. Let me tell you the extent of my knowledge of Patty Hearst before I read this book. I had heard her name and knew that she’d been kidnapped and that “Stockholm syndrome” was a part of the collective consciousness in part because of her. I don’t think I realized that she was a member of the publishing family—if you’d told me, I might have said, “Oh yeah, of course, that makes sense” but I don’t think I’d have been able to tell you that on my own. And then a question about her [...]


    14. Three-and-a-half stars. Toobin is a stellar researcher, and American Heiress is well-organized and clearly presented. I found his thesis--that Hearst was always a rational actor, making decisions that supported her own best interests rather than a brainwashed dupe--quite persuasive, too. Hearst, both as Patricia and as "urban guerilla" Tania, remains something of a cipher nonetheless, but this never struck me as a failure of imagination on Toobin's part. Personality is a construct, and personali [...]


    15. Most people who were around in the mid-1970's will remember the kidnapping of Patty Hearst by a hapless band of revolutionary players, the Symbionese Liberation Army. This group, whose main members were - as Jeffrey Toobin puts it in his new book, "American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst" - as differentiated as a fox-hole in a war-time movie. There was the black revolutionary - "Cinque" or Donald DeFreeze - the white revolutionaries - Emily and William [...]


    16. Oh you trivia friends of mine (and you know who you are), I got some major ammo out of this book. It's crazy. I lived during all of this. I knew the girl was kidnapped and that she said she was brainwashed. I had no idea it went on as long as it did. I remember the picture. I remember she married her bodyguard. I remember Squeaky Fromme trying to kill Ford, but not Sara Jane Moore just 17 days later. Creepy I know more about the Manson case than this one. Well, now I know a LOT about this one. I [...]


    17. "You're not going to believe this, but we like her." --Three of Patricia Hearst's abductors, who expected her to be a stuck-up débutante instead of a dope-smoking Berkeley student who had a long-term sexual affair with her high-school teacherI've been reading lots of 1970s history because I never got much of it in school--I grew up in Massachusetts, so it was all Stamp Act riots and Crispus Attucks and Paul Revere. Toobin does a terrific job explaining who the members of the Symbionese Liberati [...]


    18. Had I rated this half way through it would have gotten 3 stars for being a fairly well written rehash a all the other Patty Hearst books, suffering from trying a tad too hard to be objective at the expense of being interesting. After the shootout and through the trial -- Jeffrey Toobin can write trail minutiae like nobody's business -- it picked up significantly. I enjoyed the author's barely contained amusement at the SLA 'death to the fascist insect' rhetoric and I thought he handled the quest [...]


    19. This is a 'nonfiction/biography/true crime' book. I was very young when this happened so this was all fairly new to me. This felt well researched. The author assembled the testimonies of those involved, letters, newspaper articles, interviews, etc and laid it out chronologically. I liked this approach. I was truly hooked. I like that the author did a great job in helping the reader understand her, as well as the time in which his takes place.The FBI hunt for her seemed long and arduous. She bene [...]


    20. This is the first book I've read by someone associated with The New Yorker that I did not find to be a dull chore to read. In addition, it fortunately was not a book where the reader ends up being buried alive under the author's research. While Jeffrey Toobin most certainly did his research, he also obviously kept in mind that the telling of the story was as important as researching it. This is a breezy read that never bogs down. Why only three stars? Because I think the author believes what he [...]


    21. Extraordinary rehash of not only one of the greatest crime syndicates of the 1970s but also the headlines and players of pop culture ; these were the years of my early childhood, so young I remember nothing but haze always wondered about our country's history at that time. This was the perfect resource.Tóobin opens this masterpiece with the kidnapping of the later century-that of Patricia Hearst by the SLA. The SLA had already made themselves known by shooting an Oakland education board member [...]


    22. American Heiress is not just about Patricia Hearst's kidnapping. It's about the group of people who perpetrated this crime. It's about the state of the United States in the years surrounding 1974. It's not the most fascinating historical book I've ever read, but it absolutely pulled me right along.I was just ten years old when Hearst was kidnapped, and I thought my lack of clarity about these events was my own faulty youthful memory. But as I read this book, I understood that events were manipul [...]


    23. In early 1974, the United States was in turmoil. Richard Nixon was about to be impeached, the Vietnam War was still grinding on, the OPEC Oil Embargo was underway, and an average of 2,000 bombs had been exploded in the country in each of the three preceding years. Then, on February 4, a 19-year-old woman bearing one of the most famous names in the country was kidnapped in Berkeley. Her grandfather was the press lord William Randolph Hearst, a towering figure in the late nineteenth and early twen [...]


    24. Patty Hearst, I had no idea. Until recently, my Hearst knowledge was a notch above nil. A blank response to a pop-culture question about an event that went down when I was a fetus. She was a single image from a surveillance camera -- the bank robbery incident in California when she went from kidnapped heiress to hey-huh-what-now status. Hearst, part of the publishing family, was kidnapped from her home in the mid-1970s by members of the Symbionese Liberation Army who were, reportedly, looking to [...]


    25. This is too cheesy to really recommend--Jeffrey Toobin uses groanable forced comparisons/transitions all too often, and is fond of sneering asides about people's failures and faults--but still, if you lived through the late 1970s, this portrait of Patty Hearst (she actually hated when people called her that, preferring Patricia, but because her dad used Patty in the initial press conferences, the diminutive stuck) and her SLA kidnappers (who Toobin clearly finds tedious and bumbling even though [...]


    26. Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction, and the Patty Hearst fiasco was definitely a case in point. This reviewer is old enough to remember the news coverage at the time; here Toobin presents us with what is likely the most objective and well researched account of the kidnapping and subsequent crime spree in which Hearst was a participant. Thanks go to Net Galley and Doubleday for the DRC, which I received in exchange for an honest review. This book was released digitally earlier this mont [...]


    27. Did you know that Patricia Hearst did not like Jane Fonda? Jeffrey Toobin must really want us to know this, as he mentions it at least 3 times in his account of Hearst's kidnaping and its aftermath.There's a lot of interesting information in this book, and some parts are quite readable. Most of the "meat" in Toobin's retelling, however, has been published elsewhere. He provides selected endnotes by chapter that are not (at least not in the Kindle version) linked to actual text, so it's sometimes [...]


    28. I’m a few years younger than Patty Hearst and her kidnapping in February of 1974 had elements of my adolescent fantasies. A pretty 19-year-old held captive, who develops sympathy for her kidnappers and becomes lovers with a few of them. At that age the grubby aspects of it and the crackpot political motivations of her captors weren’t issues to me. Besides, the entire incident happened on the opposite coast.Jeffrey Toobin’s American Heiress gives the details for people who didn’t care fol [...]


    29. The Patty Hearst kidnapping totally dominated the news in the the mid 1970s. The heiress to the dwindling fortune created by William Randolph Hearst, the infamous newspaper owner, is snatched from her apartment by a group (and I use that term loosely) of terrorists(?), the Symbionese Liberation Army and held for ransom. The SLA is a pseudo revolutionary group with no goals or particular purpose which is laughable if it weren't for the kidnapping. Ransom is demanded including the feeding of poor [...]


    30. I was given an advanced reading copy of American Heiress provided by NetGalley. The book is a blow-by-blow account of the kidnapping of Patty Hearst which at times is almost too much detail. But what bothered me the most was that Toobin puts words in the mouths of the main characters. I find it hard to believe he actually spoke with all the characters he quotes (and particularly those who died.)That being said, I did find the story and the chronology interesting. Although I was not much older th [...]


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