|English: Patty Hearst at the Hibernia bank, San Francisco, 15 April 1974. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
My editor at Doubleday actually suggested Patty Hearst and I said to him, “Well there must be a million books about Patty Hearst,” and he said, “Go check.”
And I actually went and checked and I saw no journalist had looked into any of this in more than 30 years. So I thought, What the heck! It seemed like a good subject and I started doing what a journalist does. I started trying to track down sources and it turns out there were a lot of people who would talk to me about it.
Did you talk to Patty Hearst about it?
I did not. I tried. If you have the book in front of you, there’s an author’s note at the end, which discusses this at greater length. She refused to talk to me and I tried everything, directly and indirectly.
She basically didn’t want to talk to me for two reasons. One is she’s in her early 60s now. This is very far in the past. She doesn’t want to relive the experience and I certainly want to respect that.
The other reason though . . . She’s given many interviews about this subject, almost exclusively to journalists who know almost nothing about the underlying facts and, I think, she didn’t really want to answer any sort of detailed questions because there’s a lot that, I think, is pretty hard to explain.