Two weeks after Patricia Hearst was kidnapped, the national press revealed that a paperback published in 1972, BLACK ABDUCTOR, by Harrison James, offered a series of striking parallels to the first major political abduction in the United States.
As the developments in the Patricia Hearst case unfolded, the similarities grew more and more baffling until the New York Post reported on April 4, 1974, that the novel "reads like a scenario for the kidnapping."
ABDUCTION: FICTION BEFORE FACT reprints the text of this remarkable document along with an Introductory Essay by Al Ellenberg. In the text of the novel can be found such amazing similarities as: The victim's name in both the novel and in real life is Patricia; the victim's father in both cases is a prominent, wealthy conservative public figure; Patricia is a student at a nearby university; the kidnapping victim comes to identify herself with her abductors and to assume their political ideology. Al Ellenberg's Introductory Essay points out where the events of the past few weeks have followed the plot of BLACK ABDUCTOR with uncanny precision, and he analyzes the major link between the fictional crime and the real-life one--the captors' political motivation.
Al Ellenberg is assistant managing editor of the New York Post. The identity of Harrison James is unknown.
ABDUCTION: FICTION BEFORE FACT is the first paperback original to appear on the Patricia Hearst kidnapping which has remained front-page news since its beginning, has been the cover story of both Time and Newseek, and continues to absorb the interest of the American public. In BLACK ABDUCTOR, originally written as an adult sex book, we find the elements of sex, politics, and a vision of events to come, combined in fascinating measure.