Jeffrey Toobin Robert Ascroft


The Thread Live: Jeffrey Toobin

Sept. 28
7 p.m.

In 1974, Patty Hearst was kidnapped by the left-wing radical group known as the Symbionese Liberation Army. Despite her family’s attempts to meet the group’s ransom demands in the form of food donations, Hearst soon released a recorded statement saying, “I have chosen to stay and fight.” She took the name “Tania,” and became involved in SLA-related bank robberies and shootings. Despite an aggressive FBI search, she remained elusive. It wasn’t until September 1975 that Hearst was arrested, tried, and claimed to have been brainwashed. Questions of how her quick conversion could be psychologically possible have fascinated the public and boggled experts ever since. Jeffrey Toobin explores this twisted story in American Heiress, his new book based on numerous interviews and previously sealed documents. The attorney and best-selling author believes Hearst reacted rationally to her circumstances, using the SLA as an outlet for rebellion and the brainwashing defense as a way to reenter society. Toobin discusses the case and the book with Kerri Miller.