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

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9781781258156: American Heiress: The Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst
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Domestic terrorism. Financial uncertainty. Troops abroad, fighting an unsuccessful and bloody war against guerrilla insurgents. A violent generation gap emerging between a discontented youth and their disapproving, angry elders.

This was the early seventies in America, and it was against this backdrop that the kidnapping of nineteen-year-old Patty Hearst by the Symbionese Liberation Front - a rag-tag, cult-like group of political extremists and criminals - stole headlines across the world. Using new research and drawing on the formidable abilities that made The Run of His Life a global bestseller, Jeffrey Toobin uncovers the story of the kidnapping and its aftermath in vivid prose and forensic detail.

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Review:

Well written ... fascinating ... [captures] that strange 1970s heyday of the counter-culture when almost every student, it seemed, wanted to be engaged in revolution. (Lynn Barber Sunday Times 2017-06-18)

A curiously gripping tale (Marcus Berkmann Daily Mail 2017-06-23)

Gripping ... a very readable tale. (Damian Whitworth The Times 2017-06-24)

The abduction and subsequent radicalization of Patricia Hearst is one of the most bizarre but illuminating episodes of that tumultuous era of protest ...Toobin spins this complex chapter of recent history into an absorbing and intelligent page-turner. (Washington Post)

Riveting ... American Heiress is a page-turner certainly, but Toobin, a gifted writer, infuses it with much more ... Even if he ridicules the ideas and condemns the violent deeds of this rag-tag group of revolutionary wannabes, they emerge not as cardboard villains but flesh and blood protagonists. (Boston Globe)

Nuanced and well paced (Guardian)

A clever companion piece to The Run of His Life (1996), his book about the O. J. Simpson case. Mr. Toobin has used the same winning formula of delving deeply into an American crime story that had tremendous notoriety in its day and retelling it with new resonance. Ms. Hearst's tale is much more bizarre than Mr. Simpson's ... [I]n an age of terrorism, the chronicle of how a sedate heiress named Patricia morphed into a gun-toting, invective-spouting revolutionary calling herself Tania holds a definite fascination. (The New York Times)

Book Description:

A thrilling account of a crime that defined a decade from the bestselling author of The Run of His Life (the book behind The People v. O.J. Simpson)

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