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William Graebner's new book examines Patty Hearst case
Friday, November 14, 2008

William Graebner
William Graebner

Patty's Got a Gun

William Graebner (History, emeritus) just published (October 15) a book, Patty's Got a Gun: Patricia Hearst in 1970s America (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008).  The book has been discussed or reviewed in the Atlantic Monthly, the Economist, and Newsday.


From the publisher: 

"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."

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