This Book Is NOT Satire, It Is History, but It Does of Course Have a Bite of Krassner Satire to It

Patty Hearst & The Twinkie Murders: A Tale of Two Trials

By Joseph Robert Cowles

5 star review

PAUL KRASSNER has long been known for quick wit and sharp-tongued satire. What isn’t as well known is that the man is also a crackerjack investigative journalst. Throughout his long career, Paul has been on the scene to report on (and sometimes become personally embroiled in) many major news stories of our time.

Patty Hearst & The Twinkie Murders: A Tale of Two Trials plus “Why was Michelle Shocked Shell-Shocked?” and “Reflections of a Realist” Outspoken Interview, is a book title that leads the prospective reader to imagine this is another of Paul’s satirical romps. Beneath the covers it quickly becomes evident that this work is not satire, but a down-and-dirty take-no-quarter name names and kick butt masterful treatise of journalistic reporting and historical value.

The 1970s was a period of broad social upheaval, a great deal of which was taking place in or related to San Francisco, California, and Paul Krassner was there in the beautiful City By The Bay to report on it.

For a while it seemed as if each day’s newspaper headlines became more shocking, more alarming, and curiouser and curiouser.  Krassner’s book will bring you face to face with significant historical events such as the abduction of newspaper heiress Patricia Campbell Hearst by the Symbionese Liberation Army, and her conviction for participation in a bank robbery; the murder spree of San Francisco supervisor Daniel James White, who assassinated supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone at City Hall; the Jonestown Massacre, in which the San Francisco area-based Peoples Temple under the leadership of politically connected and respected Jim Jones, engaged in a “mission” in Guyana resulting in the murder of Congressman Leo Ryan and the mass-suicide or mass-murder of 918 Temple members; the White Night Riots, in which San Francisco’s gay community, outraged by the lenient sentencing given to Dan White for the killing of Moscone and Milk, erupted into street demonstrations that turned brutally violent (and in which Krassner, a reporter for publications including the San Francisco Bay Guardian, the Berkeley Barb, Playboy magazine and The Nation, was chased by frenetic police officers, thrown to the ground, and so severely beaten with truncheons that he became crippled for life).

No, this is definitely not a book of satire.  It is a no-holds-barred look back at a time of great unrest that ultimately brought about extensive changes in our society.  In the who-what-where-when-why style of journalistic reporting, Patty Hearst & The Twinkie Murders: A Tale of Two Trials offers up salient recollections regarding hundreds of people, places, things, events and circumstances that have influenced the world in which we live today.

Buy this book and read it now.  It is as important as it is spellbinding.

Joseph Robert Cowles has been there and done that for far more years than he cares to discuss.

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