Adult Book Club Discussion: "American Heiress" by Jeffrey Toobin

Please join us for the next meeting of our Adult Book Club scheduled for Tuesday, November 12, at 1:00 p.m.  We will be discussing the book "American Heiress" by Jeffrey Toobin.

On February 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 secret documents, 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?

Copies of the books are available upon request at the library. 

What:  Adult Book Club
When:  Tuesday, November 12, at 1:00 p.m.

Where:  East Troy Lions Public Library
East Troy Lions Public Library Adult Book Club Reading List 2019 

January:  A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

February:  Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
March:  Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

April:   Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

May:  Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer

June:  Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom

July: Maisie Dobbs Vol. 1 by Jacqueline Winspear

August: Red Notice by Bill Browder

September:  Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann

October:  The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry by Kathleen Flinn
November: American Heiress by Jeffrey Toobin

December:  Night by Elie Wiesel