By Jeffrey Toobin

A nationwide Bestseller

From New Yorker staff author and bestselling writer of The Nine and The Run of His existence: the folk v. O. J. Simpson, the definitive account of the abduction and trial that outlined an insane period in American history

On February four, 1974, Patty Hearst, a sophomore in university and heiress to the Hearst kin fortune, was once abducted by way of a ragtag workforce of self-styled revolutionaries calling itself the Symbonese Liberation military. the unusual turns that during this already sensational take are actually astonishing--the Hearst kin attempted to safe Patty's liberate through feeding the folk of Oakland and San Francisco at no cost; financial institution protection cameras captured "Tania" wielding a desktop gun in the course of a roberry; the LAPD engaged within the greatest police shoot-out in American background; the 1st breaking information occasion used to be broadcast survive telelvision stations around the nation; after which there has been Patty's circuslike trial, jam-packed with theatrical court docket confrontations and a dramatic last-minute reversal, and then the time period "Stockholm syndrome" entered the lexicon. 

Ultimately, the saga highlighted a decade within which the United States appeared to be discomfort a collective apprehensive breakdown. American Heiress portrays the electrifying lunacy of the time and the poisonous mic of intercourse, politics, and violence that swept up Patty Hearst and captivated the kingdom.

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

Sample text

It’s all the money I have. ” DeFreeze, unhappy with this answer, belted Steve across the head with a homemade sap—a leather-covered piece of lead. The pain knocked Weed almost unconscious. Atwood chased Patricia into the kitchen and put a black automatic pistol in her face. “Be quiet and nobody’ll get hurt,” she said. Harris ran after Patricia as well and then dragged her back toward the front door, where he placed her facedown on the floor. Atwood began tying Patricia up. She fought back—Patricia was stronger than her delicate, barely five-foot frame suggested—but Atwood managed to get some nylon cord wrapped around her arms and legs.

His wife, Catherine Hearst, was another matter altogether. In fairness, Randy left to Catherine (and a succession of governesses) the real work of raising five daughters, and Catherine struggled more than most with what was called, in her era, the generation gap. —drew eye rolls from her daughters. Catherine’s Catholic faith was deep and real and shared by no one else in the household. She sent all five daughters to Catholic schools, which they all fled, sooner rather than later. She insisted on the completion of academic work and met resistance from her daughters from their earliest school days.

For the SLA, performance was not a means to a goal but often the goal itself. The legacy of the SLA itself may be nonexistent, but its story provided a kind of trailer for the modern world. The kidnapping of Patricia Hearst foretold much that would happen to American society in a diverse number of fields. The story illuminated the future of the media—especially television and book publishing—the culture of celebrity, criminal justice, and even sports. The Hearst kidnapping itself had an effect on the politics of the 1970s, including on the career of the governor of California, Ronald Reagan.

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