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Family Story of Bonnie and Clyde, The Paperback – February 22, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Pelican Publishing (February 22, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 156554756X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565547568
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,158,189 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

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with Philip Steele to tell the true tale, she offered not only her personal insight and opinions, but also previously unpublished photographs and her mother's diary, which had never before been seen by anyone outside of the Barrow family.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.

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Customer Reviews

I did not enjoy this book one tiny little bit.
JF
The legend of daredevil and obnoxious outlaws Bonnie and CLyde was not served well with this book.
Pitchulo Dun Dun
I have only three words for anyone thinking of buying this book......save your money!
AhJay

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Joe Taylor on April 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
The family photographs, provided by Clyde's youngest sister, Marie Barrow Scoma, are the highlights of this brief, nearly journalistic account of the notorious bandits who cut a path of robbery and blood across the depression era raped southwest.
Having read the majority of material published about Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, I was disappointed that this book offered very little new information or sincere insight into their lives, deaths and motivation. E. R. Milner's "The Lives & Times of Bonnie & Clyde" still remains the epitome biography of the deadly duo. Milner confronts rumor, speculation and legend and delivers the unveiled truth. Scoma and P.W. Steele offer no justification for fact and often cushion the deadly blows dealt out by these two killers (as would be expected when a beloved family member tells the tale).
Obviously, the spotlight lingers on Clyde throughout the book, leaving the reader with much less of an insight on Bonnie than other publications have. This is unfortunate because if Clyde was the mastermind of the Barrow gang, the force behind the violence, Bonnie was the spirit which documented it in her personal writings and communication with her mother and sister (most of this missing in "Family").
Sadly enough, when the reader finishes this book, his or her mind will linger on the photographs ... the haunted look of love and desparation on the faces of the killer's mothers ... the poverty ridden historical sites connected with the duo ... and the casual, sometimes delightful, poses by two of America's most deadly yet fascinating lovers. Their images may be here within these pages, but their spirit, albeit evil, lies elsewhere.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
It would be nice, with all that's been written about them so far, if someone would write a good book about Bonnie and Clyde. Unfortunately, Phillip Steele hasn't managed to do this. Slim and poorly researched, errors abound in this book to the point where one wonders if Steele interviewed Marie Barrow Scoma before or after her death. Some of the photos are even wrongly captioned. This book is so bad it's embarrassing, as bad as anything Jay Robert Nash ever did, except that his books are at least useful as paperweights or doorstops.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
I have always been intrigued by the story of Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, and have looked forward to a book that provided both an accurate history of their criminal careers as well as a glimpse into who they were as people. Unfortunately, this is not a book I can recommend as meeting either of those requirements. It's clear that the author (actually, the co-author, as Clyde's late sister Marie is also credited) pursued this project with a good deal of heart. The greater is the pity, for this falls short as history, as criminology, or as a study of the two Depression era bandits. This book shows signs of being hastily produced; with greater time, it could have been a much better book.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Pitchulo Dun Dun on November 28, 2001
Format: Paperback
The legend of daredevil and obnoxious outlaws Bonnie and CLyde was not served well with this book. One would think that, having the contribution of Clyde's sister, this book would be sort of a "definitive" book about the those gangsters. No way, pal. The book is foolish.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Chris Schwartz on April 21, 2003
Format: Paperback
If you've seen the movie and liked it, but wanted a little more detail and background info then you should really check out The Family Story of Bonnie and Clyde by Phillip Steele and none other than Clyde's own sister Marie Barrow Scoma. This book really takes full advantage of Marie's first hand knowledge about her brother and runs with it. Although, if you have a problem with violence or gruesome details i would probably avoid this one. Clyde Barrow's life begins near Teleco, Texas where he spent his early years often left to the care of his older sister Nell. He and his 6 other brothers and sisters were often unintentionally neglected by their parents. Even as a young child, Clyde loved movies with outlaws like Jesse James and would imagine himself to be these outlaws for weeks after seeing the movies. His family never stayed any one place very long, and, as a result, the kids didn't attend much school. The family soon moved to West Dallas, a homeless and vagrant area. Clyde left school at age 17, and, being handy with cars and machines, he easily found work. His first crime was merely taking a few turkeys from a neighbor's yard, but not long after that he pulled his first armed robbery. Then, teaming up with his brother, Buck, and a few other friends, he robbed the Buell Lumber Company. Soon after this is when the Outlaw Gang was formed and they robbed a few more shops before getting caught. When this happened, Clyde decided to clean up his act and he opened a family gas station with his dad. Clyde met Bonnie in January of 1930. Bonnie Parker, who had just suffered a divorce, was helping a friend who had broken her arm when Clyde stopped by to visit the girl he also new. "It was apparently love at first sight for both of them.Read more ›
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By JF on June 11, 2005
Format: Paperback
I wanted to like this book. It was written by family of Clyde, so I thought that it might have some interesting insight into the minds of the two notorious criminals. But the book skipped from event to event without going deeper into the whys AT ALL. I did not enjoy this book one tiny little bit. I thought the writing was stilted. I thought the story lacked emotion and didn't get us involved with the characters at all. There are MUCH better books on the subject out there!
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