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review 2016-08-18 01:34
Lest We Forget
American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst (Random House Large Print) - Jeffrey Toobin

Toobin's latest effort tackles the circus that was the Patty Hearst kidnapping of the mid-1970's. He knocked this one out of the ballpark!
Many do not remember the early to mid 1970's, but it was a time of high drama for the United States. Nixon, the oil embargo, high inflation, Watergate. While we fret over today's latest round of terrorists, people forget about the bombings that occurred almost daily then. 1972 had 1,962 actual and attempted bombings. 1973, 1,955 bombings. 1974, 2,044 bombings. Dozens of people were killed. Groups like the Weathermen, the Death Angels, the Black Panthers, and the Nation of Islam spread their terror. While today we worry about the Black Lives Matter group, back then the Death Angels (Zebra killers) had a campaign to kill white people simply because they were white.
Following in these anarchist groups footsteps, a ragtag group of incompetent dunderheads formed and called themselves the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA). Never more than a handful strong, they gained notoriety by kidnapping the daughter of a famous newspaper magnate, Patricia Hearst.
And thus begins Toobin's book. He covers in depth Hearst's actual kidnapping, her imprisonment, her conversion to becoming a member of the SLA, the crimes she committed while with the SLA (and they were many), her time as a fugitive, her capture, and finally, her trial. The trial was, at that time, "the trial of the century". Americans were introduced to terms such as brainwashing, and the Stockholm Syndrome.
Toobin does his best not to divulge his opinion on the culpability of Hearst in her crimes, instead he provides a balanced set of facts and lets the reader make up their own mind. It is fascinating reading.
One thing that really stood out to me in the story was how many famous or soon-to-be famous people were involved in the Hearst saga. Judge Lance Ito (of future OJ Simpson infamy), Sara Jane Moore (later involved in an assassination attempt on President Ford), Ronald Reagan, the Mary Tyler Moore TV show, Kathy Soliah (fugitive for over 20 years before capture and tabloid infamy), the Nation of Islam, the Weather Underground, Bill Walton (the basketball player), Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme (also attempted assassin of President Ford), F. Lee Bailey (infamous attorney of the era), the Reverend Jim Jones (of the Guyana massacre), Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, ESPN, and a host of others that I am forgetting. Toobin weaves all these people seamlessly into his book.
I have my own opinions on the Hearst debacle, and I won't share them with the readers of this review to avoid tainting their own decision. Instead, I will end my review with one of the last lines in Toobin's book, "rarely have the benefits of wealth, power, and renown been as clear as they were in the aftermath of Patricia's conviction". You would think we would learn, but history seems to be destined to repeat itself over and over again.
While at times a bit ponderous, this book tells a great story that we should all remember. Maybe then we won't repeat our blunders over and over again!
Highly recommend!

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review 2016-08-03 00:58
American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst (Random House Large Print) - Jeffrey Toobin

#AMERICANHEIRESS  Oh you trivia friends of mine (and you know who you are), I got some major ammo out of this book. It's crazy. I lived during all of this. I knew the girl was kidnapped and that she said she was brainwashed. I had no idea it went on as long as it did. I remember the picture. I remember she married her bodyguard. I remember Squeaky Fromme trying to kill Ford, but not Sara Jane Moore just 17 days later. Creepy I know more about the Manson case than this one.

Well, now I know a LOT about this one. It's amazing the connections that are involved in all of this. At first, I thought I was going to be bored, as it started out a little slow. There was also a little redundancy. However, for the most part, I thought this was a great book. I can also see how she was just bored with her life and hey, here comes something new and different. She is a year or two older than me, so yeah, I can totally relate to what she did. The big question - didn't a lot of us do that? Did all of us get that second chance? I think this was be a great debate book for a book club.

There's also a lot of researched information in here and I definitely recommend it for those who love to absorb and learn interesting facts!

Thanks to Doubleday Books and Net Galley for the free e-galley in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2016-05-07 03:04
Fascinating. I loved every minute.
The Run of His Life: The People v. O. J. Simpson - Jeffrey Toobin

Keeping this short and sweet. Not here to debate the ins and outs of this infamous case, but only writing to tell of my experience with reading/listening to this excellent book. The Run of His Life: The People vs. OJ Simpson by Jeffrey Toobin is both entertaining and infuriating as all hell. This all went down when I was in junior high, and I remember them playing the verdict over the intercom.


There was so much that I didn't know about the case. Toobin pulls no punches when it comes to pointing out how arrogant and naive the prosecutors were (and how the defense team capitalized over their mistakes). While Toobin doesn't hide his real feelings about the case, I really enjoyed the personal touch.


The audiobook is great, too. Stephen Bel Davies does a fine job. I loved listening to him, and I hope to hear more from him. I'll have to seek out more books read by him.


Since this book was written a while ago, it doesn't have the latest updates (I don't know if they've updated it with any re-releases, but it wasn't so on the audiobook). Still, the book does a great job of pulling you back into that crazy and unbelievable time. Even if you think you know everything, you'll find out about stuff you never even had a clue about.


Very, very entertaining and well written/reported.


5 stars



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review 2016-04-07 00:00
The Run of His Life : The People versus O. J. Simpson
The Run of His Life : The People versus O. J. Simpson - Jeffrey Toobin Con este libro sacaron una serie espectacular- probablemente la mejor del año.
Si tuviese un poco de tiempo libre para concentrarme en libros serios, ya lo estaría leyendo.
Como no lo tengo (por ahora), recomiendo que lo lean, o que miren la serie. Es excelente!
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text 2016-03-04 17:41
Recent entries on thedollop.net (with books, of course, so many suggested books)
On Witchcraft - Cotton Mather
DEAD PEOPLE POSING: The Mystery Behind Dead Photographs (FULL EDITION: Photographs explained) - Alexander Coil
Saddle the Wild Wind: The Saga of Squirrel Tooth Alice and Texas Billy Thompson - Laurence E. Gesell
The Run of His Life : The People versus O. J. Simpson - Jeffrey Toobin
Another City, Not My Own - Dominick Dunne
The Museum of Hoaxes - Alex Boese

Podcast Episode 156: The Marblehead Smallpox Riot: Smallpox Blankie, or Why Are My Neighbors Bumpy?


Podcast Episode 147: The Greenbrier Ghost: Meatless Mondays are Murder!, or Ghosts Make My Head Spin:

true story of the only known legal case where a ghost testified about her own murder


followup entry: Postmortem Photography: includes a premortem photography story about my great-grandfather


Podcast Episode 145: Squirrel Tooth Alice: No pithy Bullwinkle title because there are vintage nudes, yes sir you are welcome


Podcast Episode 126: RA Cunningham and Tambo: Nickels in the Dime Museum, or How to Buy Other People for Fun and Profit!


and, Resources: American Crime Story (and a personal fable, boogeyman and all): relates back to several episodes and ties them all together:


All of thedollop.net entries has the mp3 of the corresponding podcast episode embedded in the beginning of the blog entry, so you can easily listen as well as read. Also, all of the entries have many, many more suggested books to read than I have highlighted here. Because it's me.


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