Patty's Got A Gun: Patricia Hearst In 1970s America

Paperback | August 19, 2015

byWilliam Graebner

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It was a story so bizarre it defied belief: in April 1974, twenty-year-old newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst robbed a San Francisco bank in the company of members of the Symbionese Liberation Army—who had kidnapped her a mere nine weeks earlier. But the robbery—and the spectacular 1976 trial that ended with Hearst’s criminal conviction—seemed oddly appropriate to the troubled mood of the nation, an instant exemplar of a turbulent era.
 
With Patty’s Got a Gun, the first substantial reconsideration of Patty Hearst’s story in more than twenty-five years, William Graebner vividly re-creates the atmosphere of uncertainty and frustration of mid-1970s America. Drawing on copious media accounts of the robbery and trial—as well as cultural artifacts from glam rock to Invasion of the Body Snatchers—Graebner paints a compelling portrait of a nation confused and frightened by the upheavals of 1960s liberalism and beginning to tip over into what would become Reagan-era conservatism, with its invocations of individual responsibility and the heroic. Trapped in the middle of that shift, the affectless, zombielike, “brainwashed” Patty Hearst was a ready-made symbol of all that seemed to have gone wrong with the sixties—the inevitable result, some said, of rampant permissiveness, feckless elitism, the loss of moral clarity, and feminism run amok.
 
By offering a fresh look at Patty Hearst and her trial—for the first time free from the agendas of the day, yet set fully in their cultural context—Patty’s Got a Gun delivers a nuanced portrait of both an unforgettable moment and an entire era, one whose repercussions continue to be felt today.

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From the Publisher

It was a story so bizarre it defied belief: in April 1974, twenty-year-old newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst robbed a San Francisco bank in the company of members of the Symbionese Liberation Army—who had kidnapped her a mere nine weeks earlier. But the robbery—and the spectacular 1976 trial that ended with Hearst’s criminal conviction...

William Graebner is the author of many books, including The Age of Doubt: American Thought and Culture in the 1940s and Coming of Age in Buffalo: Youth and Authority in the Postwar Era.

other books by William Graebner

Format:PaperbackDimensions:232 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.8 inPublished:August 19, 2015Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022632432X

ISBN - 13:9780226324326

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

List of Figures
Introduction

The Story
     Abducted
     The Robbery 
     The Fire
          Early Reactions
     The Missing Year
     The Arrest
     The Trial
     Closing Arguments
     The Jury
     The Verdict
          Reactions

Reading Patty Hearst
     The Fragile Self
     The Victim
     The Survivor
     Stockholm Syndrome
     Paranoid
     The Emerging Conservative Consensus
     Heroes
Notes
Acknowledgments

Editorial Reviews

"The author provides a compelling look at the 1974 kidnapping. . . . arguing that the entire episode reflected the anxieties of an increasingly anxious nation."