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American heiress : the wild saga of the kidnapping, crimes and trial of Patty Hearst
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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
OnFebruary 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 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 bank security cameras capturing Tania wielding a machine gun during a 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 term 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 more than a hundred interviews and thousands of previously secretdocuments, "American Heiress" thrillingly recounts the craziness of the times (there were an average of 1,500 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 re-creates 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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Booklist Review
*Starred Review* On February 4, 1974, two women and one man burst into the Berkeley, California, apartment that Patricia Hearst, heir to the fortune of newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, shared with her fiancé, Steven Weed. They clubbed Weed and dragged a thrashing, screaming, 19-year-old Hearst into the trunk of their car. This was the start of a prolonged, violent, and sometimes absurd cross-country odyssey that led from cramped, filthy safe houses to isolated rural farmhouses. The kidnapping, travels, and trials of Hearst and her companions would draw in a variety of willing and unwilling characters, including a radical sports journalist; a greedy, alcoholic, but brilliant defense attorney; and even a high-school baseball player. The saga transfixed the nation as key moments played out on national television, including a horrific shootout and fire in which some of the kidnappers died, and during which Hearst, rebellious and unhappy about her impending marriage, appeared to embrace the cause espoused by her abductors, members of the Symbionese Liberation Army. With access to previously off-limit documents, best-selling Toobin (The Oath, 2012), New Yorker staff writer and senior legal analyst for CNN, has written an outstandingly detailed and insightful account of the Hearst case and its impact. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Toobin's high media visibility and a major national campaign, including an author tour, will ensure that this book is in the news.--Freeman, Jay Copyright 2016 Booklist
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First Chapter or Excerpt
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Table of Contents
Prologuep. 1
Part 1
1Nervous Breakdown Nationp. 11
2From Inside the Trunkp. 16
3The SLAp. 26
4The Point of No Returnp. 40
Part 2
5Prisoner of Warp. 53
6Not Just a Bunch of Nutsp. 66
7Three Hundred Bald Menp. 79
8"I'm a Strong Woman"p. 92
9The Birth of Taniap. 104
10Stay and Fightp. 116
Part 3
11Common Criminalsp. 131
12Showdown at Mel'sp. 144
13Live on Televisionp. 157
14Apocalypse on Fifty-Fourth Streetp. 167
Part 4
15"The Gentlest, Most Beautiful Man"p. 181
16Jack Scott Makes an Offerp. 193
17Road Tripp. 201
18The Streets of Sacramentop. 217
19Death of a "Bourgeois Pig"p. 228
20Feminist Bomb-Makingp. 237
21Freeze!p. 244
Part 5
22"There Will Be a Revolution in Amerikkka and Well Be Helping to Make It"p. 261
23"Your Ever-Loving Momma and Poppa Care About the Truth"p. 271
24More Excited Than Scaredp. 280
25The Search for Old McMonkeyp. 295
26The Verdictp. 308
27"Favoring the Rich over the Poor"p. 318
Aftermathp. 329
Author's Notep. 341
Notesp. 345
Selected Bibliographyp. 353
Photo Creditsp. 357
Indexp. 359
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