Blurbs

“The abduction and subsequent radicalization of Patricia Hearst is one of the most bizarre but illuminating episodes of that tumultuous era of protest…and in American Heiress Jeffrey Toobin retells the story with a full-blown narrative treatment that may astonish readers too young to remember it themselves…[Toobin] spins this complex chapter of recent history into an absorbing and intelligent page-turner.” The Washington Post

“[R]iveting…American Heiress is a page-turner certainly, but Toobin, a gifted writer, infuses it with much more… Even if he ridicules the ideas and condemns the violent deeds of this ragtag group of revolutionary wannabes, they emerge not as cardboard villains but flesh and blood protagonists.”  –The Boston Globe

“[A] clever companion piece to The Run of His Life (1996), his book about the O. J. Simpson case. Mr. Toobin has used the same winning formula of delving deeply into an American crime story that had tremendous notoriety in its day and retelling it with new resonance. Ms. Hearst’s tale is much more bizarre than Mr. Simpson’s…[I]n an age of terrorism, the chronicle of how a sedate heiress named Patricia morphed into a gun-toting, invective-spouting revolutionary calling herself Tania holds a definite fascination.” –Janet Maslin, The New York Times

“Terrifically engrossing…Toobin uses his knowledge of the justice system and his examination of the evidence to pierce the veil of spectacle… The book’s real power comes from Toobin’s ability to convincingly and economically evoke a broad range of people…Shocking and definitive…As for Patty Hearst herself, Toobin treats her as a person, not a tabloid phantasm….” –New York Times Book Review

“Toobin has crafted a book for the expert and the uninitiated alike, a smart page-turner that boasts a cache of never-before-published details…Toobin’s book successfully captures the unrivaled spectacle of the Hearst drama.” San Francisco Chronicle

“Gripping…A terrifically detailed recounting of the Hearst case and its aftermath. But American Heiress is more than that. In telling this story, Toobin also opens a window on the surrealism of the ’70s in a way that makes it all of a piece — and, in some instances, a harbinger of the future.” Time

“Offers fresh insights into this truly mythic tale. Toobin’s study shows acute awareness of the underlying tensions operating in the larger culture, much of which helped to shape how the American public perceived the spectacle. Although Toobin had no participation from Hearst—she refused to be involved in the project—his history nevertheless connects the forces of the counterculture, Hearst’s amorphous public identity, and alienation that not even Hearst’s own account (published as Every Secret Thing in 1981) could offer.” Smithsonian

[R]iveting, stranger-than-fiction…[A] spell-binding retelling … In the end the real test of a writer’s worth is…how well they can tell a story that’s already been told many times before by many different people, including — in this case — by some of the main characters themselves. By that standard Toobin gets an A-plus for American Heiress… Everything about this book feels right: the structure, the style and the tone, which is the New Yorker meets Raymond Chandler. As always with great writing, it comes down to a strong, distinctive narrative voice spiced with the judicious use of juicy details.” –LA Weekly

“In American Heiress, Toobin recounts in riveting detail the astonishing transformations of Patricia Hearst, granddaughter of publishing titan William Randolph Hearst.  [A] terrific new book out about another lurid crime story with its own toxic mix of race, class, celebrity and sex.” --Associated Press

“[A] remarkable story, skillfully and engrossingly told…American Heiress raises questions about wealth and power, about violence and groupthink and human nature…These and other questions are taken up ably by the brilliant and prolific Jeffrey Toobin in his new book, American Heiress…Even for those readers who’ve long since forgotten the Patty Hearst saga, or who grew up long after it ended, this account is well worth the time and attention.” Pittsburgh Post Gazette

“Compelling…Intriguing…American Heiress capitalizes on Toobin’s powerful storytelling ability, his expertise at identifying and explaining legal strategies and missteps, and a precise use of the language.” –St. Louis Dispatch

“Engaging…breezingly told…a terrifically detailed recounting of the Hearst case and its aftermath. But American Heiress is more than that. In telling this story, Toobin also opens a window on the surrealism of the ’70s in a way that makes it all of a piece — and, in some instances, a harbinger of the future.” Milwaukee Journal

 “Toobin reopens the Patty Hearst case [and] American Heiress gives us the characters and discord of the time.” Newsday

“This spring, Americans became obsessed [with] the acclaimed miniseries ‘The People vs O.J. Simpson’ and it will be no surprise if we once again find ourselves exploring the present through the past with the release of an even older but no less sensational true-crime saga with American Heiress.Santa Cruz Sentinel

“Toobin, author of the still-amazing The Run of His Life, the definitive book about the O.J. Simpson murder trial, and A Vast Conspiracy, about the Clinton impeachment, gives us an incredibly detailed account of Patricia Hearst — college student and heir to the Hearst family fortune — who was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army in February 1974 and later joined the organization.” Austin American Statesman

 “Fascinating…American Heiress gives us a panoramic picture of [Patty Hearst’s] times and a gripping, insightful account of her place in them.”  –Tampa Bay Tribune

 “A decades-old story [that] still resonates and became a part of pop culture. Toobin is known for digging into recent history with gusto, extensive research and well-reasoned insight. With American Heiress, he sets out to place Hearst’s story into the context of an America that was stressed by Watergate and threatening to unravel at the seams of its social fabric.” –Detroit Free Press

 “A brilliant evocation of an era and a stunning example of reporting…Toobin tells Hearst’s story — a tragedy with farcical elements — with aplomb, placing it firmly in its era. He infuses his narrative with a wealth of detail, particularly about Hearst and her SLA comrades. American Heiress ziplines the reader into the past and burnishes Toobin’s already stellar reputation for thoughtful, engaging, accessible nonfiction.”  –Richmond Times

 “[D]efinitive and nuanced… [Toobin's] thorough research, careful parsing of all the evidence, and superior prose make the book read like a summertime thriller.”  –Publishers Weekly  Starred review

“[Toobin] has written an outstandingly detailed and insightful account of the Hearst case and its impact.” Booklist Starred review

“[A] detailed but swiftly moving account of the 1974 kidnapping that mesmerized the nation. . . [T]he author’s considerable legal knowledge propels the narrative. . .  [A] a well-informed, engaging work from a highly capable author.”  Kirkus