Patty Hearst: Her Own Story

Patty Hearst: Her Own Story

by Patricia Campbell Hearst

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.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Nonfiction
  • Rating: 3.77
  • Pages: 499
  • Publish Date: September 1st 1988 by Avon
  • Isbn10: 0380706512
  • Isbn13: 9780380706518

Read the Book "Patty Hearst: Her Own Story" Online

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.

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 the revolution voluntarily, rather than under duress and fear of death.

I wanted to read her account, which was this book published in 1982 (she did not participate in the CNN series).

This is the book to read if you are interested in what really happened to Patty Hearst.

I found the most interesting part, were her experiences in court.

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.

Her kidnappers told her conspiracy stories through the closed door until she started to believe them.

Patty's story shadowed my late high school, early college years. 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. Then, a few months later during a "go to work with my dad" day, I am at the Federal building in San Francisco with some friends, and day three of Patty's trial will begin in a few hours. Realizing that the issue--did Patty deserve jail time?--has been out there, as a tiny irritant, for all these years because there didn't seem to be a clear answer. From the book, its pretty clear why Patty would choose to stay with the SLA when she is first offered the choice to stay or leave, as I discuss below. The continuing to stay becomes less clear as time progresses, however, especially after six of the SLA members are killed. ( I also talk about this more later.) Marveling at how the terrorists of the late 1960's and early 1970's (the Manson Family, the SLA) were largely young, white middle/upper middle class judeo-christian women. Also marveling at how the SLA members, including Patty, appear driven by this passionate need to benefit the people, meaning the poor people, but do almost nothing to help such people other than asking for free food for them early on. The fact is though, when you pull back and look at the reality of their lives, the beautiful vision of a world where the poor have risen up is only in their heads and is so extreme that it can only be in their heads, making them not helpers of the poor but only criminals and killers. She does have a fear that the FBI or police will shoot her on sight because she had, after all, robbed a bank, stolen cars, shot at the Mels Sporting Good store and issued tape after tape where she praises the SLA and affirms her membership with them. Therefore, in my view, from the moment Patty was found she should have been treated as a kidnap victim, psychologically evaluated to see if she had really turned into an SLA member and if not, been provided with counseling to help her heal and asked to assist in the prosecution of her captors. And then we learn that she may not even had the dad because, after 40 years of marriage, weathering the kidnapping, SLA membership and trial of one of their daughters--the parents wanted to divorce. Also interesting to think of Steve Jobs as a punky kid at a nearby high school, as Patty is growing up near Menlo Park.

I saw the CNN documentary last year and then read Jeffrey Toobins book, and it was clear from start to finish that Toobin did not believe a word that came out of her mouth.

Her prison term was commuted by president Jimmy Carter and Hearst was released in 1970.