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Patty's Got a Gun: Patricia Hearst in 1970s America
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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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