SCPL Online NonFiction Book Club discussion

American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst
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SCPL (st_catharines_public_library) | 542 comments Mod
Hello, and thank you for joining us for October's online book club discussion. My name is Diana, and this month we will be reading American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes, and Trial of Patty Hearst.

American Heiress is the true crime account of the 1974 kidnapping of Patricia Hearst, granddaughter of publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst. After her abduction at the hands of the Symbionese Liberation Army, Hearst became a revolutionary known as "Tania", and appeared on surveillance video wielding a machine gun during a bank robbery alongside SLA members.

Author Jeffrey Toobin explores this truly wild saga, which includes the Hearst family's desperate attempts to secure Patty's release, the largest police shoot-out in American history, and Patty's dramatic 1976 trial for the Hibernia bank robbery.

This book is available from the Library in several different formats, which are accessible at the following link: https://goo.gl/5xKrmG

I'm looking forward to discussing this book with you, and looking forward to hearing your thoughts about this shocking but true story!


Heidi Madden | 118 comments Hi Diana!!! I’m a few chapters in and this book is wild. I hadn’t heard of this before starting the book but it reminds me a LOT of the October Crisis in Quebec that happened a few years before. I’ll be interested to hear other’s input on this story.


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SCPL (st_catharines_public_library) | 542 comments Mod
Hi Heidi! It really is, isn't it? Toobin doesn't waste any time drawing readers in, beginning with his description of that chaotic kidnapping. I can certainly see the parallels to the October Crisis, thank you for mentioning that. I've seen the 1970s referred to as the "golden age of terrorism", and it's shocking to recall how rampant domestic terrorism was during that era. I am very interested in people's input as well, and I hope this month generates a lively discussion!


Heidi Madden | 118 comments Wow. I didn’t know about the term the “golden age of terrorism” that definitely puts things into perspective. I have heard of the “global sixties” which is when there were civil rights movements all around the world but following that with a “golden age” of terrorism, of all things is downright depressing. It does put things in perspective though. I think those of us who didn’t live through the seventies tend to think of the rise of terrorism as a post-9/11 phenomenon but as Toobin shows in this book, terrorism was already a well-established practice.


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