The saga of Patty Hearst highlighted a decade in which America seemed to be suffering a collective nervous breakdown. Based on more than a hundred interviews and thousands of previously secret documents, AMERICAN HEIRESS recounts the craziness of the times (there were an average of 1,500 terrorist bombings a year in the early 1970s). Jeffrey Toobin portrays the lunacy of the half-baked radicals of the SLA and the toxic mix of sex, politics and violence that swept up Patty Hearst and re-creates her melodramatic trial. The book examines the life of a young woman who suffered an unimaginable trauma and then made the stunning decision to join her captors’ crusade. Or did she?