Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde

Go Down Together

Jeff Guinn ’s Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde is an entertaining, meticulously researched biography that gleans fact from the fables that grew up around this Depression-era outlaw duo. Clyde Barrow was the son of a junk man in the slums of west Dallas, and Bonnie Parker was a dirt-poor dreamer living across the Trinity River in Cement City. By their first meeting, in January 1930, the twenty-year-old Clyde had become a common crook and the nineteen-year-old Bonnie a hard-drinking scrapper (she “fought her way” through school, her mother said). The pair were instantly inseparable, and within two years their obsessive love match had morphed into a full-fledged criminal enterprise. Guinn gleefully dispels the self-delusional image they propagated via posed photos—there was little glamour in their inept spree of robbing and killing. During the day, they stole cars and pulled petty heists; at night they slept restlessly in seedy motels or sprawled across the backseats of sedans. By the time a posse gunned them down in the 1934 Gibsland ambush, it was clear that America’s gun-toting sweethearts were sociopaths who had literally stolen their way into the national spotlight. Simon & Schuster, $27

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