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American heiress : the wild saga of the kidnapping, crimes and trial of Patty Hearst  Cover Image Book Book

American heiress : the wild saga of the kidnapping, crimes and trial of Patty Hearst / Jeffrey Toobin.

Toobin, Jeffrey. (Author).


"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 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; 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 circus like 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 secret documents, 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?" -- Book jacket.

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780385536714
  • ISBN: 0385536712
  • Physical Description: x, 371 pages, 16 pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm
  • Edition: First edition.
  • Publisher: New York : Doubleday, [2016]

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references (pages 352-355) and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
Prologue -- Nervous breakdown nation -- From inside the trunk -- The SLA -- The point of no return -- Prisoner of war -- Not just a bunch of nuts -- Three hundred bald men -- "I'm a strong woman" -- The birth of Tania -- Stay and fight -- Common criminals -- Showdown at Mel's -- Live on television -- Apocalypse on Fifty-Fourth Street -- "The gentlest, most beautiful man" -- Jack Scott makes an offer -- Road trip -- The streets of Sacramento -- Death of a "bourgeois pig" -- Feminist bomb-making -- Freeze! -- "There will be a revolution in Amerikkka and we'll be helping to make it" -- "Your ever-loving momma and poppa care about the truth" -- More excited than scared -- The search for old McMonkey -- The verdict -- "Favoring the rich over the poor" -- Aftermath.
Subject: Hearst, Patricia, 1954-
Hearst, Patricia, 1954- > Trials, litigation, etc.
Symbionese Liberation Army.
Kidnapping victims > United States > Biography.
Stockholm syndrome > Case studies.
Trials (Robbery) > United States.
Nineteen seventies.
Genre: Biographies.

Available copies

  • 1 of 1 copy available at Kirtland Community College.


  • 0 current holds with 1 total copy.
Show Only Available Copies
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Kirtland Community College Library F 866.4 .H43 T66 2016 30775305516560 General Collection Available -

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