Brendan’s Alternate Tagline: Who wouldn’t fall in love with their kidnapper?
Quick synopsis: The story of the Norrmalmstorg bank robbery in Sweden in 1973.
Fun Fact Non-History People Will Like: Why do you care about a bank robbery with a funny name? This is how “Stockholm Syndrome” entered the public consciousness.
Fun Fact for History Nerds: Even though it sounds like an official psychological disease, Stockholm Syndrome is not recognized as an actual disease by most medical authorities.
My Take: I don’t think it’s bold to say that almost everyone knows generally what Stockholm Syndrome is. I don’t think it’s bold to say that very few people know the crime which gave rise to the term.
In an effort to not have to spellcheck every single word (seriously, Sweden, what’s with all the consonants?), I am just going to say this all happened in Stockholm at a bank.
The entire episode was wild. It was a single robber who took over an entire bank and the cops showed up right away. The gunman ultimately let go of a lot of the hostages. He also got the Swedish government to release a friend of his from prison to come hang out with him. Yes, you read that right.
The entire hostage situation would last sex days, in case the title of the book didn’t give it away. I seem to remember thinking it was all much more nefarious and deadly. Nope, no one died. In fact, mostly people were very nice to each other.
King writes a short book that captures everything you need to know. I really liked it because many authors would double the page count with unnecessary facts and conjecture. King gives you what you need and nothing more (in a good way!).
Verdict: A great read for everyone. It reads fast and sticks to the facts.
If You Liked This Try:
- Harold Schechter, Maniac
- Patrick Radden Keefe, Empire of Pain and Say Nothing
- John Carreyrou, Bad Blood
- Dave Cullen, Columbine
- Sheri Fink, Five Days at Memorial