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American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst
American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst | Jeffrey Toobin
101 posts | 69 read | 6 reading | 161 to read
From "New Yorker" staff writer and bestselling author Jeffrey Toobin, 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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review
Julsmarshall
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Pickpick

Interesting, but maybe because this case has been a life long area of interest for me. Having visited San Simeon on multiple occasions, I‘ve always found the Hearst family fascinating; one of our earliest versions of American royalty. Toobin‘s book was well researched, well paced and told a balanced version of events. Nothing earth shattering or mind changing really, but a sold bit of nonfiction. Narration by Paul Michael was good.

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Julsmarshall
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RowReads1 Ugh! 3w
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ScrappinMom
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I made it! Didn't think I was going to but I did. Thanks for the fun weekend and I can't wait until the next one! #mbcreadathon #MBCfrogsread13

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heikemarie
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I am driving a 16 foot truck from FL to WA to help my aunt move (she lives in WA but much of her stuff was in FL...). I‘m hoping we get to listen to the tagged audiobook today! She loves audiobooks, so it wasn‘t hard to figure out what we‘d do on our drive (once we were sick of carpool karaoke) - picture of TN!

Megabooks This is a great audiobook! Enjoy! 3mo
Megabooks And drive safely!! 💜 3mo
Zelma I really liked this book. Good choice for a road trip. (edited) 3mo
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Nute A very cool Aunt-Niece venture. Safe travels! 3mo
heikemarie @Megabooks @Zelma We really like it so far!! 3mo
heikemarie @Megabooks @Nute Thank you! Halfway and doing great! 3mo
44 likes6 comments
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Nute
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#30JuneBooks - Spine Poetry:

american heiress,
we are never meeting in real life.

the weight of silence,
the secret of lost things,

drown(s)
the audacity of hope.

erzascarletbookgasm Nice! 👍 5mo
Leftcoastzen Love it! 5mo
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Lindsay.Butier
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Where we will be for this lazy Sunday night❣️ this book is amazingly written and I love the amount of history I‘m learning!

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Jbakesmcgee3
Pickpick

Five stars: if you‘re like me and have heard of this strange tale but don‘t really get it, this stranger than fiction account will put into perspective the sociological/political/cultural contexts for you in a highly readable way. I had so so many smh moments during this one!!!

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Jbakesmcgee3
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While I most likely won‘t make 24 hours I‘m enjoying the dedicated reading time and this crazy book!!! #24in48

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Megabooks
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#NoFemmeber #gunshot #nonfictionNovember

I loved this book. The whole question of what Patty‘s mental state was was fascinating. Did she willingly participate in the bank robbery? Was she coerced? Was she brainwashed? Great book and #audiobook!

Cinfhen I‘ve started this book twice and both times my library hold ended before I finished the book. I‘m thinking the author was getting me to bogged down in details and descriptions. Im gonna pick it back up one day. 12mo
EKonrad Loved this one too! 😊 12mo
Megabooks @Cinfhen It‘s one of those like Road to Jonestown that I‘m glad I went audio. I have a much higher tolerance to dense books listening. I did DNF Toobin‘s OJ book, though. (edited) 12mo
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Megabooks @EKonrad Definitely! 👍🏻👍🏻 12mo
AlaMich There was a mini-series podcast that Toobin did about this. So interesting!! 12mo
Megabooks @AlaMich No way! I‘ll have to look for that. Thanks! 12mo
Billypar Great pick! I always wondered if there was a consensus view about the question of her involvement or if no one really has a good idea. Guess I'll need to read and find out ☺️ 12mo
Megabooks @Billypar I‘d definitely recommend this book! 😁👍🏻 12mo
Reviewsbylola I bailed on this as an ebook but I need to try a hard copy. 12mo
Megabooks @Reviewsbylola You don‘t do audiobooks, right? I‘d recommend that, but it may be better as print for you. Perhaps the library? Nonfiction books can be so expensive!! 12mo
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Readaholics
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Pickpick

What a crazy story! I was born when the Hearst kidnapping and SLA trials were happening. I had no idea how close all the action was to home. It raises an amazing debate about brainwashing and responsibility for actions. It‘s hard to say whether it was her fault for becoming radicalized after her abduction. Makes you think about how this happens today in modern day cults like corporate campuses, frats, cliques and other tribes ( like CrossFit).

EKonrad Thought this book was great! The perfect way to write nonfiction! 😊 2y
LovesToRead Added this to my need to read pile!!! 2y
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ptkpepe98
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#25inFive is one challenge I think I can complete! These are some of the books I plan to spend some quality time with for the next few days. As the post shows, feel free to jump in with your plans.

Andrew65 Welcome aboard. 😊 2y
ptkpepe98 Thanks, @Andrew65. This is my 1st attempt at one of these challenges. I am amazed that the time flies right by! 2y
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parasolofdoom
Mehso-so

I am fiiiiiiiinally done. Meh. I don't have a lot to say, ended up grabbing the audio just so I could finally get this over with while cleaning today.

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parasolofdoom
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Had a slow start but it's really getting dramatic now 😬. I didn't have a ton of background info going into this, just a vague idea of the Patty Hearst story (so sue me, I was born in '86 so the first major breaking news story in my memory is OJ)

Reviewsbylola I bailed on this so now I‘m wondering if I should try again. 2y
parasolofdoom @Reviewsbylola it's not nearly as good as Road to Jonestown for 70s true crime kinda thing (though that's actually a bio). This is striking me as very average, not bad but not great. I'm reading it for a challenge. 2y
10 likes2 comments
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parasolofdoom

This is good buuuuuuuuut the author seems just a touch fixated on white women in the SLA carrying on relationships with black men. Okay so. What does this add to the wild saga or whatever the subtitle is.

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parasolofdoom
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Just started this as a possible book for the #readharder true crime prompt

Zelma I really enjoyed this one (but I like somewhat dense biographies and social histories so it was up my alley). Had no idea how truly odd this story was. 2y
parasolofdoom @Zelma so far so good! I loved Road to Jonestown if you're looking for something similar 2y
Zelma @parasolofdoom I was about to recommend Road to Jonestown if you liked this one. I loved it. 😆 2y
parasolofdoom @Zelma haha! Great minds 2y
Zelma @parasolofdoom exactly! 😂👏👍 2y
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AlaMich
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For those interested in the Patty Hearst case, Jeffrey Toobin, the author of the tagged book, has a podcast called Patty Has A Gun in conjunction with CNN. I just started listening and it sounds promising. #podcasts

RaimeyGallant Interesting! 2y
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kelseynicburke
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Cinfhen I'm in middle of this book, but my hold ends today 😬don't think I'm gonna finish in time.... 2y
kelseynicburke @Cinfhen oh no! I hope you finished it in time 2y
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Cinfhen
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#NuYear #NewYearReads I'm cozy in bed with coffee #InMyMug and reading the MOST #beserker true crime tale on my iPad. The kidnapping of Patty Hearst was an international story that played out in the early 1970's. I'm beginning to see a pattern of complete chaos back then when it came to crime solving and police procedures!! This stuff is crazzzy pants!!! My OverDrive expires in 3 days so I've got some speed reading to do🙄

WarpedSweetness I read this last year and loved it! It was so fascinating. 2y
CoffeeAndABook Cozy in bed with coffee ☕️👌🎶sounds perfect 💎 🌟Happy New Year🌟 2y
Kalalalatja Looks so cozy! 2y
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emilyhaldi Cozy! I hope you are enjoying warmer weather than we are currently 🌬 2y
TrishB This sounds like a great NF read 👍🏻 wish I was still cozy in bed! 2y
Cinfhen I know, I feel so guilty complaining with my 64 degree temperature @emilyhaldi @trishb @Kalalalatja @CoffeeAndABook 😉 2y
Cinfhen Happy New Year @CoffeeAndABook 💟💟💟💟 2y
Cinfhen This book is all kinds of insane @WarpedSweetness it's hard to believe this is NF 2y
WarpedSweetness @Cinfhen I know! After I read it I went on this binge of looking up everything to do with Hursts. 2y
DebinHawaii I need to see if my library has this one.👍📚 2y
AmyG This book is on my TBR. I vaguely remember watching this on the news when I was a kid. (edited) 2y
NicoleR1 I just started this on audio and I am enthralled! 2y
Cinfhen There's a lot to process, right @NicoleR1 !?!! I think you'll like it @AmyG 2y
Reviewsbylola I bailed on this. I can‘t remember why. Maybe I‘ll give it another shot. 2y
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Cinfhen
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#DecDays #Hallelujah I thought these OverDrive books might expire before I had time to read them for challenges, but I think I‘ll be good to go...#pop18 #truecrime #bookinvolvingaheist I‘m hoping they might work for other challenges as well #ReadingReadyFor2018 http://spoti.fi/2zUg6mp

MinDea I have been wanting to pick up american heiress. It looks so good! 2y
Susanita ❤️the video 😀 2y
emilyhaldi Curious to see what you think about Artemis! 2y
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Quinndm
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"In the closet, she became a revolutionary; in the jail cell, she became a Hearst."

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Kimberlone
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Digging into this as I wait for my pho to be served. Haven‘t read any nonfiction in awhile so I‘m excited to start this one. #Overdrive #ebook #nonfiction

Reggie Yummmmm pho...... in Santa Fe there is this place, Pho Noodle, sooooo good. 2y
Kimberlone @Reggie the place I like to go is called Phonatik. Pho restaurants always have the funnest names! 2y
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GinEyre22
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#noteworthynovember Day 6: Criminals

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EKonrad
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Pickpick

One of the best nonfiction books I‘ve read this year! If you‘re not familiar with the details of Patty Hearst‘s kidnapping back in the 70s, this book will read like a suspenseful thriller. Toobin does a great job presenting all sides of the case since the element of brainwashing complicated matters so much. A definite recommend! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Zelma Completely agreed! I stayed up late multiple nights reading this one. 2y
RaimeyGallant But my #TBR is so long... :) 2y
EKonrad @RaimeyGallant I know what you mean! That‘s kinda the story of my life! Lol 😝😝😝 2y
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Cinfhen
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Day 22 #AugustGrrrl I'm somewhat obsessed with Patty Hearst, debutant #RichGirl turned SLA guerrilla warrior. As family lore suggests my uncle was in the bank at the time of her kidnapping/machine gun toting heist that made Patty the most famous fugitive back in the 1970's. When I asked my uncle about this rumor, he chuckled and said "read the book." I've never discovered his mention but I keep reading about this true crime?️‍♀️#TBRwishlist

MicheleinPhilly WHAT??? 2y
Cinfhen I'm thinking of you @CrowCAH look at those beautiful wenches 👢☠️💋Gwen & Eve 🙌🏻 (edited) 2y
Cinfhen I know @MicheleinPhilly it's probably BS and my uncle passed away before I really got to the truth...but #lifeisstrangerthanfiction (edited) 2y
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TrishB Cool family story 👍 2y
emilyhaldi So cool!! 2y
britt_brooke Gah, I love Gwen Stefani so much! 😍 2y
CrowCAH @Cinfhen pirates robbing the bank! 💰 2y
Reviewsbylola 😂😂😂 your uncle sounds funny. 2y
erzascarletbookgasm Now that's an unsolved mystery 🤔 2y
Mdargusch So cool. I would be obsessed too if I had a family member that witnessed that! 2y
Zelma Wow, that is very interesting. Too bad you never got the full story (or real story). 2y
Cinfhen I know @Zelma @Reviewsbylola @erzascarletbookgasm @Mdargusch it's now an urban legend 😂😊😱that uncle was quite a guy...it honestly would have happened to him!!! 😜 2y
Cinfhen NO DOUBT 😜😄I love Gwen Stefani too @britt_brooke 2y
MaureenMc @Cinfhen @britt_brooke I'm wearing my No Doubt t-shirt today. 😊 I love Gwen's solo stuff, too, but I really miss the band! (edited) 2y
britt_brooke @MaureenMc 🙌🏻🙌🏻 I feel the same way. Love the solo stuff (dug out my Love Angel Music Baby CD this morning so I could listen to Rich Girl @cinfhen), but I love the band the most. I wish I still had my ND shirt I used to wear constantly in high school. 😩 2y
Cinfhen Ha!!! CD's!!! I used to play that CD on constant loop in my minivan days 🚐😱😱😂🙄 that Shit is 🍌🍌🍌 @britt_brooke @MaureenMc 2y
britt_brooke @Cinfhen 😆👏🏻 2y
LauraBeth @Cinfhen, @britt_brooke B-A-N-A-N-A-S!! I STILL have this on my gym playlist 😂 2y
britt_brooke @LauraBeth Love it! I need to add it to mine! This 💩 is 🍌🍌🍌. Been singing it all day! @Cinfhen 2y
Cinfhen Hilarious @LauraBeth @britt_brooke Definitely ranks as a top contender for the treadmill! AINT NO HOLLABACK GIRL 2y
MaureenMc @Cinfhen @britt_brooke @LauraBeth My Love Angel Music Baby CD was in heavy rotation when it first came out. Still love No Doubt's Rock Steady even more, though. 😊 Hey 👶, hey 👶, hey! 2y
Cinfhen I'm the kinda girl that hangs with the guys
Like a fly on the wall with my secret eyes 😎 @MaureenMc
2y
MaureenMc 😄🙌 2y
britt_brooke @MaureenMc 😁👏🏻 2y
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Zelma
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Pickpick

This sentence encapsulates the crux of this crazy story. A fascinating look at the Hearst story but also the state of the U.S. in the early 70s; this couldn't have happened in another era. Toobin definitely has a stance but presents a very detailed and in-depth look at her kidnapping, crime spree, and trial. This is not narrative nonfiction, but a detailed chronicle of the event.

However, I stayed up til 3 am reading this and enjoyed every bit.

Suet624 Excited to read this. 2y
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Zelma
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Continuing this stormy day with Greek yogurt full of strawberries and walnuts, plus a herd of crazy cats running laps around the house.

coffeenebula I like the way you party 😁 2y
Zelma @coffeenebula 😂 we're wild animals over here! Taking a break from wine for awhile, but can't read and drink anyway; my brain gets too fuzzy even with one glass. 2y
57 likes3 comments
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Zelma
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I have an awesome morning ahead of me (well, early afternoon). Coffee, oatmeal with raisins, a fabulous book, and ominous thunder outside. Pajamas and couch time commences!

Zelma @MinDea there is also a lurking #Shippy on the side of the photo. Of course. 😂 2y
Shortstack Right?!?! I read it earlier this year and it was pure love for me, too! 2y
Megabooks It's really good! 2y
56 likes4 comments
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Zelma
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I haven't been posting lately due to life getting in the way. Absolutely enjoying my non-fiction about Patty Hearst though, perfect bedtime reading as I don't want to read 100 pages at a time. 😂

In other news, this little guy has adopted us. He showed up two weeks ago in our carport and hasn't left. I don't want a dog but man, he is really sweet and smart and cute. We're doomed. Calling him Doggie so we don't get too attached. 😆

Sace Oh... You'll just end up calling him doggie forever. 😊 He's a cutie! 2y
bio_chem06 I LOVE Jeffrey Toobin! This was my favorite though. Have you read the others? Run For His Life was also amazing. 2y
Redwritinghood He's adorable. I would have a hard time turning him away. 2y
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Melwilk He is so cute. You may not think you want a dog, but it looks like you have one 😊 2y
Bookgoil Aw he looks like my puppy 🐶 2y
LeahBergen Eeee!!! He looks like he's part Jack Russell! Keep him! 😫😫 2y
Jas16 He is so cute!!! 2y
Hooked_on_books He's so cute! He looks like a Jack to me. I wonder how long it'll take you to name him. You're doomed, you know. 😬 2y
drokka I can imagine worse ways to be doomed 😍😍😍 2y
ReadingEnvy He's so sweet! And needs you! 2y
Jinjer What a darling face! Since you're doomed let's name him Doom. J/k 2y
RealBooks4ever Just add love. 💜 2y
Zelma @RestlessFickleBookSlut @Redwritinghood @Melwilk @Bookgoil @LeahBergen @Jas16 @Hooked_on_books @drokka @ReadingEnvy @Jinjer @RealBooks4ever 😆so much puppy love. Yeah, he is super cute and sweet. Mr. Z really wants him...but we're not in a position to have a dog (responsibly), we have 3 cats, and I think I may have found his owner. So it will all work out. 2y
Zelma @bio_chem06 this I my first but definitely won't be my last. I like his style for non-fiction. It works well with all the detail. It really makes me want to read The Nine, about the Supreme Court! 2y
bio_chem06 @Zelma The Nine was good but a little dry. The one about the Clinton scandal was great. It just felt so unbiased, which is what I look for in stories like that, which is hard to find. Run For His Life was great and then I followed it with the mini series with Cuba Gooding Jr., that was awesome. I've read all his stuff because I liked his writing too, haha! 2y
Zelma @bio_chem06 awesome, thank so much for the advice and recs! 👍 2y
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GinEyre22
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#backtoreading Day 8: banned book love
I love these socks so much

britt_brooke 😍 2y
Caryl I have these, too! 💕 2y
27 likes2 comments
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GinEyre22
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#backtoreading Day 6: Shelfie Sunday
One of my Nana's bookshelves

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GinEyre22
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Catching up on #backtoreading Day 5: Booze and Books

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LauraJ
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Pickpick

Fascinating and detailed account of Patty Hearst's time with the inept Symbionese Liberation Army. The author presents a convincing case that Hearst was a willing participant in the crimes she committed. Toobin is rightly bothered by her lack of remorse for her actions. And while I agree, it's difficult to ascertain her state of mental health at the time. Who can say where the breaking point was for the pampered 20 year old?

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LilithHomer
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NatalieR
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Pickpick

I knew very little about Patricia Hearst... other than her story being referenced to Stockholm Syndrome. This book certainly changed that for me. I found this to be an engaging true crime story.

BookishBlonde12 Those flowers are gorgeous! 2y
Karkar Stargazer Lilys are my favorite! They smell so good 😊 2y
Zelma Gorgeous flowers and photo! 😍 2y
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Booknerd2 Love those flowers 🌺!!!!! 2y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Beautiful 💕 2y
AmyG This has been on my TBR pile forever. And yes...beautiful flowers. 2y
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MLRio
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Pickpick

A solid read for anybody with an interest in true crime (and especially fans of HELTER SKELTER). Toobin's personal opinion encroaches a little too much--it's clear from the beginning what his stance on Hearst's guilt is and he doesn't give much consideration to opposing ideas--but the narrative is clear (no small feat here) and consistently engaging. ⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

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MLRio
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Made a resolution to read more non-fiction this year. So far it's going great. Next up, AMERICAN HEIRESS. #nonfiction #truecrime #PattyHearst

Suet624 Oooohhhhh... I want to read this!! 2y
Hooked_on_books I really liked this one--I hope you do, too! 2y
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GidgetsTreasures75
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Pickpick

5-14-17: If you like anything about the counterculture, the late 60s, the 70s.....read this. Such a crazy and interesting story about a rich girl who gets kidnapped and then decides to go along with her kidnappers to become an urban guerrilla and run from the law for a few years, before being caught and saying she was brainwashed!!! 👍🏼📚

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TriciaIngramWilliams
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Pickpick

Fascinating story that I knew so little about. 10/10 would recommend.

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LisaAnnGallagher
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Just happened to be reading this tonight...

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ApoptyGina69
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Porch time reading has begun in earnest. New tablecloth and new sippy cup for white wine spritzer! I have been looking to this non-fiction account of the Patty Hearst kidnapping in 1974. I'm from SF and I remember the news coverage. The parents of a grammar school friend of mine published the trial transcript a few years later.

LeahBergen Nice!!! 😍 3y
Zelma Looks like an excellent spot for reading! 3y
avalinah That is SO the prettiest cup in the existence of the universe! 😍 3y
ApoptyGina69 @avalinah thanks! I think I'll get a lot of mileage out of it all summer. Using it now, in fact. 🍷👍 3y
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GidgetsTreasures75
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5-7-17: Reading the Patty Hearst story in the car on our way home from adopting this beautiful girl! My daughter named her Mikuru and my husband named her Steinway. So welcome to our world, Mikuru Steinway!!! 😻😹💖

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Bklover
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Don't know about you, but I am having a hard time dragging myself away from Litsy to read! LOVE this place!

kendrastephaniekaryn Me too - but I've heard many great things about this book! 3y
Bklover @kendrastephaniekaryn I'm enjoying it so far- just started it last night. 3y
Clare-Dragonfly I have that same problem sometimes! So ironic 3y
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ApoptyGina69 This book just came in #bookmail for me on Friday. It's part of my #LitsyAtoZ challenge, so I'll be getting to it soon. 3y
Bklover @Clare-Dragonfly it is ironic! Oh well, I'm enjoying myself, so it's ok! 😉 3y
Bklover @ApoptyGina69 so far it's interesting! 3y
Megabooks Me too! I loved that book though. Went audio. 3y
Bklover @Booksandcooks I'm really enjoying it- I remember when it all happened! 3y
WordWaller Haha me too! Gotta focus!!! 3y
Bklover @WordWaller I'm glad I'm not the only one! 3y
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bellasocks
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.. the last true crime I read and it was super good! #SEEWHATIHAVEWON @Liberty

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JSW
Mehso-so

Breathlessly dramatic, but puffed up with self-importance. This book filled in some details, but suffers from over-imaginative story-telling. Plus it has lots of errors that are easily fixable. Eh. Go read Wikipedia instead.

JSW It's like reading a 340 page People story. 🙄 3y
Cinfhen Thanks for the honest and helpful review 😊 3y
20 likes2 comments
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JSW
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Arrrghhhh. It's Sleeping Beauty's castle at Disneyland. Get. It. Right.

elkeo_TheBookDragon You tell 'em! 3y
LAnneCard 🤣🤣🤣 3y
22 likes2 comments
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mdhughes72
This post contains spoilers
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Pickpick

Author is an astute and reliable narrator who has marshaled most if not all the facts to present his case. He concludes that Hearst was a willing participant in the crimes after her kidnapping. She has never expressed remorse or accepted responsibility for her participation, choosing instead to cast herself a victim. She seems to be a weak person who always turns to stronger people (usually men) to give her life direction. Readable and worthwhile.

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Nitpickyabouttrains
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Pickpick

This story is astounding. The book is well researched and well written. True and wild this often referenced bit of American history had a lot more to it then I ever knew.

Cinfhen I've been wanting to read this, thanks for the reminder 😊 3y
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LaurenReads
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Pickpick

What a crazy story! I have only heard bits and pieces of this story (before my time) but I was fascinated with this book. What Hearst did, how she dealt with her situation and was she really "brainwashed"?!?! So interesting. #nonfiction #litsyreadingchallenge #setinthe1970s

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Lorren
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Le library haul. Books come in faster than I can read them.