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Patty Hearst: Her Own Story

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  336 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
Patricia Campbell Hearst provides her personal account of her activities and relationships beginning with her kidnapping by the Symbionese Liberation Army on February 4, 1974.
Paperback, 499 pages
Published September 1st 1988 by Avon (first published November 1st 1981)
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Liz Wright
May 19, 2008 Liz Wright rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Patricia Hearst was kidnapped from her home in Berkeley, CA on February 4, 1974 by the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA). She was kept as a “prisoner of war” by the SLA in a closet for fifty-seven days. When she was allowed to exit the closet she was given the options of joining the SLA or death, and she chose to join the movement. Hearst participated in a bank robbery with the SLA where she was identified, and she later participated in communications with the press stating that she had joined th ...more
Mar 17, 2008 Pilouetta rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Pilouetta by: malone
i couldn't put this one down! it's not poetically written, but the story is fascinating. i began to feel paranoid, hearing noises thinking the SLA was out to get me, fearing pizza delivery drivers, woke up thinking a strange woman was banging on my bedroom window. it is as if hearst's story really does the job of making the reader feel as berated as she did, with the inundation of SLA propaganda, constantly feeling afraid of being killed, agoraphobic, i felt transported and hallucinated. causes ...more
Oct 22, 2010 Erin rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
I think this true story is what brought more attention to what is termed the Stockholm syndrome. Patty Hearst was kidnapped, starved and held in a closet for weeks. Her kidnappers told her conspiracy stories through the closed door until she started to believe them. When they had convinced her to join them, they let her out of the closet and she was 'free'. She helped them rob a bank and do things she would have never otherwise done. At the time, the public didn't understand why she didn't try t ...more
Apr 02, 2010 Joseph rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Joseph by: Yasuko H
I was really surprised how well the book read. I expected it to be much drier and perhaps whiny. I barely remember the news stories growing up, but I do remember the Free Patty Hearst T-shirts and the ads in Creem and other pulp rock magazines. Her trial though in her eyes, reminded a bit of Meursault being tried for not crying at his mother's funeral and Patty being tried for what she did to the upper and middle class image than for the bank robbery... of course it is her story
Tom Schulte
Jul 02, 2011 Tom Schulte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really great bio. I like that the action starts with her kidnapping before page 40 and the lenghty legal wrangling is summed up in final couple of chapters. This gives a lot of space for the broad scope of the cross country months of hiding underground, robbing banks, planting bombs, and being brainwashed. It is easy to see why her brainwashing defense was hard to swallow and it is an amazing case of behavior-affecting psychological trauma.
Nicholas Miranda
Oct 15, 2015 Nicholas Miranda rated it it was amazing
I am a die hard fan just like John Waters. Her story is of one of the most amazing in American pop culture history. She is a fairly ordinary aristocrat with an extraordinary story to tell.

Have wanted to read this book for years but was, for some reason, not called to actually start reading.

Patty's story shadowed my late high school, early college years. When she is kidnapped in February 1974 I learned about it in my math class, as a high school junior. April 3, 1974 was my 17th birthday and also the birthday of Patty's childhood friend whose father was president of the Hibernia Bank, the bank that the SLA robs later that month.

I learned of Patty's arrest at dinner in the dining
Feb 12, 2017 Albert rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. What an eye opening story. Highly recommend.
Nov 12, 2007 Laura rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: rich bitches
I decided to read this book for 3 reasons:
1. I found a copy at a garage sale for $.50.
2. Patty Hearst was released from jail on 2/1/1979, which also happens to be the day I was born, which I think is cool.
3. I only knew vague facts about this incident and was constantly missing casual popculture references about Patty and SLA, not to mention more than a few Jeopardy! questions about what was in the news in the 1970s.

I ended up hating this book for way more than three reasons, but I will elabo
Lisa Gallagher
Obviously this book (and the story behind it) has sparked a lot of curiosity and I guess reading it you have to remember Patty had much to be gained (at the time) by currying good favor. In case you don't remember (or are too young): in 1974 heiress Patricia Hearst was kidnapped by a radical group in San Francisco. This group had already murdered a prominent Black politician and purported itself to be for civil and equal rights, by any means necessary. Patty was kept in a closet for more than 60 ...more
Hank Stuever
Jul 13, 2013 Hank Stuever rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, it's her story to tell, right? Here are three things I have to say about this book:

1. I bought it and read it in October 1988 for two big reasons: The Paul Schrader movie "Patty Hearst" (starring Natasha Richardson) had just come out and I was transfixed; so transfixed, in fact, that I wrote a research paper for my Women's Studies course (yes) about the political motivations of women who belonged to the SLA and were involved in Patty's abduction. (Terrible paper. The professor gave me a B
Aalia Khan Yousafzai
Aug 18, 2015 Aalia Khan Yousafzai rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, meh
Meh. As excited as I was about finding out more about Patty Hearst from herself, I just felt like she's been... dishonest here, not really sincere, as if she was putting a lot of effort into the justification of her actions and her time spent with SLA. It's not like I wanted to read about a romance budding from Stockholm syndrome and I was disappointed. It just felt like it dragged on too much with missing chunks of information, like the whole book was written for the purpose of backing up her c ...more
Oct 05, 2012 Laura rated it it was ok
Thank God that's over with. What an exercise in frustration. My conclusion is that Patty wrote this book to try and exonerate herself from all the crimes she committed during her period of "kidnapping" but let's be honest here. She could have escaped a THOUSAND times. She knew what she was doing was wrong. I was screaming at her outloud 'leave you dumb broad!!' I was very curious about the topic and story in general, and overall I am glad I read the book and the writing was not bad at all. But m ...more
avoid having an iconic name and tons of class privilege , because even being kidnapped at gunpoint, locked in a closet so tiny you can 't straighten your legs for 57 days, while being systematically raped and starved -- EVEN THEN the relentless drive of mainstream news to remake you into dangerous counterculture radical succeeds in getting you a federal prison sentence. did my heart good to see this survivor pop up in john waters films
Satyabrata Mishra
May 11, 2013 Satyabrata Mishra rated it really liked it
A true crime story is titillating. But a story recounted by the one who had lived it through? That's one hell of a book. The tale of Patty Hearst is one of the most told tales but often clouded by other people's judgement. Here Patty opens up every piece of her sad tale, her dive into cultism and a slight touch of stockholm syndrome. Though it's not a literature masterpiece, the book has a very personal tone that lends a charm to it.
Jul 26, 2014 Kathryn rated it really liked it
This is the book that sparked my love of biographies and true crime stories. It's a truly fascinating account of Hearst's ordeal and time held in captivity by the SLA. I still can't believe she served prison time. I think (or at least hope) our legal system has a better understanding of brainwashing and the Stockholm Syndrome today than it did in the 1970s.
Apr 08, 2008 Rachel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I guess the only reason I gave this book only two stars is that shortly after I finished it, I was wondering why I read it at all. It's just such a sad, dark story, and it goes on FOREVER....I wish that I had found a different book about the story, a book that wasn't so long and horribly depressing. Don't know if there is such a thing for this subject!
Feb 12, 2015 Alex rated it liked it
My copy had several typos in it. It started off strong and finished strong though. I read this a few weeks after the Charlie Hebdo killings and couldn't help drawing comparisons. Crazy how damaging a few idiots with a cause can be.
Feb 08, 2008 Bryan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: all-time-favs
I decided to read books by people with my birth sign, Patty Hearst and I are both Pisces. Once I started reading this brutally honest and truly amazing bio I read it in 3 days !! Delve back in time to the 70s and all the chaos and sadness of this story !!! One of my favorite books ever
Gary Turner
Jun 27, 2013 Gary Turner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you were alive during this time, or if you just like the story of Patricia Campbell Hearst, please read.
Got in to this story recently and wanted to hear what Patty herself said about the experience. Written in a chronological style and in her own very young voice.
Sep 28, 2014 Julie rated it liked it
Patty is a naive young woman who was the victim of a horrible crime.
Feb 12, 2008 G.R. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Jun 19, 2013 Jennifer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Interesting historical information.
Deb Sharp
Feb 16, 2013 Deb Sharp rated it it was amazing
I read this book for the first time in 1986, and I really enjoyed it! So I read it again in 1997! I may just have to read it agin soon!
Emma rated it liked it
Nov 16, 2011
Teddie rated it liked it
Jan 31, 2011
Lydia rated it it was amazing
Dec 30, 2014
Kimberely rated it really liked it
Jun 25, 2016
Kimberly Bega
Kimberly Bega rated it really liked it
May 14, 2013
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Patricia Campbell Hearst Shaw is the granddaughter of William Randolph Hearst. She was kidnapped in february 1974 by urban guerilla group "The Symbionese Liberation Army" and joined them before being arrested in september 1975 and charged with bank robbery. She was sentenced to 35 years imprisonment, but the sentence was later commuted to seven years. Her prison term was commuted by president Jimm ...more
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