A National Bestseller
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
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 Symbonese Liberation Army. The weird turns that followed in this already sensational take are truly astonishing--the Hearst family tried to secure Patty's release by feeding the people of Oakland and San Francisco for free; bank security cameras captured "Tania" wielding a machine gun during a roberry; the LAPD engaged in the largest police shoot-out in American history; the first breaking news event was broadcast live on telelvision stations across the country; and then there was Patty's circuslike trial, filled with theatrical courtroom confrontations and a dramatic last-minute reversal, after which the term "Stockholm syndrome" entered the lexicon.
Ultimately, the saga highlighted a decade in which America seemed to be suffering a collective nervous breakdown. American Heiress portrays the electrifying lunacy of the time and the toxic mic of sex, politics, and violence that swept up Patty Hearst and captivated the nation.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Jeffrey Toobin has written about the O.J. Simpson case, Bill Clinton’s sex scandal, and other confounding public spectacles of modern America, but it’s safe to say that the kidnapping of Patty Hearst—and her conversion into violent outlaw—is one of the strangest. Toobin details the chain of events with cinematic flair, but what makes American Heiress especially fascinating is the way he makes connections between Hearst’s story and the broader story of America in the ‘70s. There’s some comfort in the knowledge that we’ve come through some pretty crazy and turbulent times before.
Audiobook veteran Michael brings his considerable skill to Toobin's sprawling biographical narrative tackling one of the most controversial criminal cases in American history. Michael adroitly moves back and forth between Toobin's expository elements and the colorful dialogue among the principal players involved. As Patricia Hearst shifts from diffident young heiress to fiery revolutionary to celebrity defendant eager to return to her former life, Michael doesn't miss a beat, consistently maintaining vocal mannerisms and personality quirks in his portrayal of her. Michael's chilling turn as career criminal Donald David DeFreeze leaves a lasting impression. His rendering of crime-scene detail including multiple bank robberies and Hearst's infamous sporting-goods store shootout never fails to enthrall. Yet he also hits the right notes in undertaking the soap opera elements of Hearst and her captors turned comrades, especially the constantly bickering husband-and-wife team of Bill and Emily Harris. Toobin's writing and Michael's performance make for an enthralling listening experience. A Doubleday hardcover.
Finally the truth comes out
I followed this on tv and the papers as it happened, and always wondered what exactly was the truth. This book tells what I feel is the truth. She's a liar who I have no respect for.
And just one mistake I found: he mentioned a 56 Chevy Impala.
Well-paced and fascinating
If you have any interest in the counter-culture of the period you will enjoy this. Patty Hearst comes through as a weird palate on which to tell about the last tales of the 60s revolutions.