Outlaws Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were Depression-era pop cultural icons whose careers Scoma, Clyde's sister, and writer Steele recount. Although they tred lightly over questions concerning Clyde's sexual orientation, theirs is a comprehensive, very readable true-crime effort. It is replete with copious illustrations, for Bonnie, Clyde, and troupe were shutterbugs with a flair for striking poses, and all the familiar shots of them, such as the one of Bonnie holding a gat on Clyde, are here. Less well known candid shots, many recording furtive family get-togethers from the storied gangsters' days on the run, appear, too, and such snapshots capture the couple's legendary physical attractiveness far better than the starker, more familiar ones do. The accounts of the duo's dastardly exploits are rather restrained, which is a pleasant surprise in a true-crime opus, one that lends credibility to it. An excellent blend of regional and pop cultural history, as well as a comprehensive look at a couple of American notables, this is a standout effort. Mike Tribby
From the Back Cover
Perhaps the most infamous couple in the history of the United States, Bonnie and Clyde have become a part of American folklore, yet their true story--their family story--has remained elusive . . . until now.
Marie Barrow Scoma, Clyde Barrow's youngest sister, felt that no book, film, article, or video told the Barrow Gang story completely or accurately. Collaborating with Philip Steele to tell the true tale, she offered not only her personal insight and opinions, but also previously unpublished photographs and her mother's diary, which had never before been seen by anyone outside of the Barrow family.
The result is a revelatory reminiscence that sheds dramatic new light on Bonnie and Clyde's exploits.
Western writer Phillip W. Steele, past board member of the Arkansas History Commission, serves as president of the National Outlaw and Lawman History Association. A member of the Western Writers of America, he also is president and founder of the James Younger Gang. Steele's other books include Starr Tracks: Belle and Pearl Starr, The Last Cherokee Warriors, Civil War in the Ozarks, Ozark Tales and Superstitions, The Many Faces of Jesse James, Jesse and Frank James: The Family History, and Outlaws and Gunfighters of the Old West. All are published by Pelican.
As Marie Barrow Scoma neared the completion of this project, she died unexpectedly, at the age of 81. The Family Story of Bonnie and Clyde stands as her testament to separate fact from fiction.