Patty Hearst Her Own Story
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Patty Hearst Her Own Story

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  238 ratings  ·  19 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
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 18, 2008 Pilouetta rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
May 04, 2011 Joseph rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
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.
Margaret Mcvay-Thompson
This is Patty Hearst own story of her kidnapping. She goes into great detail about how her life was up to the kidnapping and then she tells the true story of everything she remembers during the kidnapping. The book is very well-written, and is a page turner.
Hank Stuever
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...more
Dec 08, 2007 Laura rated it 1 of 5 stars
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...more
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
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.
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
Satyabrat Mishra
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.
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!
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
Deb Sharp
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!
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.
Gary Turner
If you were alive during this time, or if you just like the story of Patricia Campbell Hearst, please read.
Interesting historical information.
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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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