Getting Inside the Mind of Patty Hearst

September 11, 2016

Jeffrey Toobin talks about how he got inside the mind of Patty Hearst in order to try to figure out whether she was brainwashed by the Symbionese Liberation Army during her 1974 kidnapping or if she joined their cause of her own free will.



My grandmother Margret Olson, missed that bomb by minutes when on a tour in the 1970's. I look forward to reading your book. Steve Saffell

Mr. Toobin. I think that your analysis of Patty Hearst is purely speculative and very ungenerous. I lived in Berkeley at the time and remember the events well. A retelling of the story does not convey the fear that young woman must have felt--and her willingness--based on that fear--to cooperate with the group. Once she had been "brainwashed" and been accepted as a comrade, her subsequent actions make considerable psychological sense. It was a frightening and unsettling time--but your retelling seems somewhat opportunistic.