Books Inc. Mountain View proudly welcomes local author Roger Rapoport to the shop for a celebration of his book Searching for Patty Hearst!
On the night that Patty Hearst was kidnapped in 1974, journalist Roger D. Rapoport, was a short drive away in his El Cerrito home. He quickly became one of the primary reporters covering the saga as it unfolded in real time. His reporting gave local and national readers a window into one of the most bizarre and polarizing crimes in U.S. history.
Now, fifty years later, he has written a novel, Searching for Patty Hearst, that draws heavily from that time. In this compelling new book, he explores alternative theories of the crime and delves into the complex psychology of many of the key actors in a drama that kept the country riveted. Using the techniques of fiction, Rapoport gives voice to much of the story that fell outside of the bounds of journalistic coverage.
“I wrote this novel because I believed the American public deserved nothing but the truth,” he says. With a wry sensibility and insider knowledge that Rapoport is one of the few people to possess, Searching for Patty Hearst, goes beyond the tabloid headlines to tell the story in all its depth. Rapoport takes on such questions as: Why did Patty participate in the kidnapping of a high school student hours before six of the SLA kidnappers were killed in a firefight with the Los Angeles police department? Did celebrity coroner Thomas Noguchi, whom Rapoport interviewed, mishandle the autopsies of six SLA victims? Why did Patty’s lawyers dump her fiancée Steve Weed as a key witness at her trial at the last minute?
It’s often said that fiction can offer insights into the truth that reporting can’t. If that is the case, the story of Patty Hearst, the SLA, and the kidnapping that carved them into the American psyche just may be told for the first time with Searching for Patty Hearst.
Roger D. Rapoport is an award-winning author, filmmaker, and playwright. His work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Wired, The Atlantic, Esquire, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and many other outlets. His films have shown at film festivals around the world. "Coming Up for Air" won thirty festival awards, including seven for best feature film; and "Pilot Error" took four best feature awards. Rapoport's books include The Great American Bomb Machine; Hillsdale: Greek Tragedy in the American Heartland; Is the Library Burning?; The Big Player, Into the Sunlight: Life after the Iron Curtain, and many other titles. He was publisher of the San Francisco Bay Area's RDR Books from 1995-2010. As a travel writer he has published multiple guides and was the editor of the successful "I Should Have Stayed Home" series. Rapoport was on the ground covering the Patty Hearst saga as it unfolded. He gained insider access to the elite and secretive world of the Hearst family and many of the key behind-the-scenes players. Searching for Patty Hearst is his first novel and draws heavily on his in-depth reporting of the case.