American Heiress

  • by Jeffrey Toobin
  • Narrated by Paul Michael
  • 15 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Jeffrey Toobin has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1993 and is the senior legal analyst for CNN. In 2000 he received an Emmy Award for his coverage of the Elian Gonzalez case. He is the author of The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court, which spent more than four months on the New York Times best seller list. Before joining The New Yorker, Toobin served as an assistant United States attorney in Brooklyn, New York. He lives in Manhattan.


What the Critics Say

"Accomplished narrator Paul Michael hits all the right notes in Toobin's detailed account of heiress Patricia Hearst's notorious 1974 kidnapping.... Michael is an excellent choice to deliver the myriad facts and critical analyses of the proceedings...this elegantly written book, paired with Michael's excellent narration, makes for absorbing listening." (AudioFile)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Great book with a glaring mispronounciation

Normally I'm not bothered by the occasional butchering of a person's or a place's name by a narrator. However, Cinque (Donald DeFreeze) is such a central figure to this story, the endlessly repeated mispronunciation of his nom de guerre got a little infuriating. Those of us who lived in the Bay Area when this truly bizarre story played out (bizarre even for those days) can't forget that Cinque was pronounced sin-CUE ... not SIN-kay. Obviously, this is a mistake effecting listeners and not readers of the book. It is, overall, a petty complaint. The book is great, regardless ...
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- Andrew

Privilege calling privilege privileged

I almost didn't buy this book, because I thought (correctly, as it happens) I knew everything about Patty Hearst already. I read Hearst's book, I saw both movies, I saw it spoofed on Drunk History, I heard Dave Anthony tell it on the Dollop (twice- SLA episode and SWAT episode), I read Days of Rage, I mean... enough already.

But then, I thought: Hey! I knew a lot about O.J. and I still liked that book, right?

So, I bought America's Heiress, imagining I'd get the same fresh pithy insightful top-notch journalistic prose.

Instead, I got the 400 page wikipedia entry I was afraid I'd get. There is nothing at all new here, and no insight. Okay - Toobin thinks Stockholm syndrome is a joke, and that Patty made bad, armed, criminal decisions uncoerced, He is sick to death of her lame "I got kidnapped, locked in a closet, and raped" excuse. Huh, thats..... nothing. I don't care enough about it to decide if I agree with him or not because it's a non-issue at this point. Where is the relevance?

O.J. was good because Toobin nails the fancy lawyers in the story. Why shouldn't he? They are of his class and his profession. He's writing what he knows.
Not so the scruffy weirdos of the SLA. Toobin gives them all the human depth of a cage full of badgers. It's hard for me not to see a touch of class-blindness there. It also means we're in the wiki-world of here's what happened, step by step. I found it pointless.

So here's my last beef: Toobin concludes by criticizing the fact that Hearst got a commuted sentence and a pardon based on her wealth and position. Well... Does Jeffrey Toobin honestly think his personal success has nothing to do with his privileged background? Because I think having a famous network newscaster mom and news producer dad might have had something to do with the success he now enjoys. Somewhere there's a poor unconnected writer in Nowheresville not getting her 400 page historical rehash published, thanks to people like him.


Oh - PS: If you don't know anything about the story, go ahead, cause it's a good one.
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- Kelley "Lover of ideas who feels no guilt at all about her pleasures."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-02-2016
  • Publisher: Random House Audio