By Jeffrey Toobin
A nationwide Bestseller
From New Yorker staff author and bestselling writer of The Nine and The Run of His lifestyles: 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 collage and heiress to the Hearst kinfolk fortune, was once abducted by way of a ragtag team of self-styled revolutionaries calling itself the Symbonese Liberation military. the unusual turns that during this already sensational take are actually astonishing--the Hearst relatives attempted to safe Patty's free up via feeding the folks 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 historical past; the 1st breaking information occasion was once broadcast survive telelvision stations around the nation; after which there has been Patty's circuslike trial, jam-packed with theatrical court confrontations and a dramatic last-minute reversal, and then the time period "Stockholm syndrome" entered the lexicon.
Ultimately, the saga highlighted a decade during which the US agony 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 country.
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Extra info for American Heiress : The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst
What did they want? Why was this happening? In a way, she already knew: it was because of her name. It is difficult, at a remove of several decades, to conjure what the name Hearst still meant in 1974. Fame, wealth, and power on a grand scale. Her grandfather William Randolph Hearst (who died several years before Patricia was born in 1954) was a newspaper publisher, but that barely captures the scope of his renown. The Chief, as he was known, built the grandest private residence in the United States, San Simeon, and his life inspired perhaps the greatest American film, Citizen Kane.
For the most part, they lived in their mother’s apartment in Manhattan, though their real homes were the boarding schools to which they were all shipped at early ages. The boys also visited their father and Davies in California, first in their mansion in Beverly Hills and then in the vast castle the Chief built on his mother’s land at San Simeon. Hearst (and Phoebe) ultimately quadrupled his landownership, to about 270,000 acres, and hired the architect Julia Morgan to design more than a dozen buildings on the property.
Hearst was displeased, often. Catherine Campbell Hearst was a regal presence, as austere as the limestone mansion in Hillsborough where she and Randolph Apperson Hearst presided. In temperament, she differed greatly from her husband. Catherine was tightly wound, a stickler for proprieties, a Georgia beauty who persuaded Randy to make a kind of halfhearted conversion to Catholicism. In contrast, Randy liked nothing so much as a long day in a duck blind followed by a big meal fueled by scotch and red wine.