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The Lives and Times of Bonnie & Clyde  By  cover art

The Lives and Times of Bonnie & Clyde

By: Dr. E.R. Milner B.A. M.A. Ph.D.
Narrated by: Charles Craig
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Publisher's summary

Relying on primary sources-oral history interviews, personal memoirs, newspaper articles, official records, diaries, and letters - E.R. Milner cuts through myth and legend to create this startling portrait of the real Bonnie and Clyde.

In his prologue, Milner introduces Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, showing them as they drive along a rural Louisiana lane toward the ambush that would put a dramatic end to their turbulent lives of crime. Milner then traces their backgrounds, noting the events that bring the two outlaws together. The ensuing adventures of Bonnie and Clyde featured gun battles, narrow escapes and captures, frequent moves, and, of necessity, several shifts in personnel over a short period of time. It was a life of wild action, betrayal, and sometimes even gallantry. In the abstract, an aura of romance surrounded this violent pair.

Although the mythology surrounding Bonnie and Clyde is charged with drama and fascination, Milner reveals the truth behind the bloody legend, carefully gleaning materials from obscure locally published accounts, previously untapped court records, and archived but unpublished oral history accounts from some 60 victims, neighbors, relatives, and police who were involved in the exploits of the infamous duo. And the truth proves to be sufficiently exciting. Romance aside, the Barrow gang carved a grisly swath through Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri.

Milner traces this violent path until 23 May 1934, when Bonnie and Clyde die in an ambush. Even dead, they draw crowds and are buried in a circus-like atmosphere. In death they continue to intrigue us in ways few criminals had before or have since.

©1996 E. R. Milner (P)2013 Redwood Audiobooks

Critic reviews

“A well-researched, briskly written account of the infamous outlaw couple.” ( Houston Chronicle)
The Lives and Times of Bonnie & Clyde qualifies as the ‘definitive' coverage of the relatively brief Barrow-Parker crime spree.” (Roger Conger, past president of the Texas State Historical Association)
“A valuable study, providing a fascinating overview of the notorious Lone Star criminals.” ( Southwestern Historical Quarterly)

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Details Conflict With Many Other Accounts

The narrator did an OK job but nothing to rave about. Conversations between story characters were interesting. While no living person knows what really happened at the the ambush where Bonnie & Clyde were killed, many details conflict with other, more well known & researched accounts. Not sure where the author got his / her information, but it seems like more research was needed on the author's part. I probably would not have purchased this book had I known this in advance.

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Exciting but excessively detailed

Milner’s book is adrenally charged with all the criminal accounts of Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker. Interesting little-known characters who were part of the Barrow gang are mentioned as well. On the downside, there is a bit too much detail for any professional historian to be concerned with, such as personal dialog, unnecessary detail during gun battles, and choppy transitions between events. The reader will have to heavily concentrate in focusing on what is important.

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