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Bonnie and Clyde may be the most notorious—and celebrated—outlaw couple America has ever known. This is the true story of how they got that way.

Bonnie and Clyde: we've been on a first name basis with them for almost a hundred years. Immortalized in movies, songs, and pop culture references, they are remembered mostly for their storied romance and tragic deaths. But what was life really like for Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker in the early 1930s? How did two dirt-poor teens from west Texas morph from vicious outlaws to legendary couple? And why?

Award-winning author Karen Blumenthal devoted months to tracing the footsteps of Bonnie and Clyde, unearthing new information and debunking many persistent myths. The result is an impeccably researched, breathtaking nonfiction tale of love, car chases, kidnappings, and murder set against the backdrop of the Great Depression.

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"Bonnie Wasn't Clyde's Only Female Accomplice,"
Karen Blumenthal, The History Channel online, Aug 6, 2018

“‘Some day they’ll go down together; / They’ll bury them side by side; / To few it’ll be grief— / To the law a relief— / But it’s death for Bonnie and Clyde.’ She would have had no way of knowing it, but Bonnie Parker got one thing wrong in her poem: she and Clyde Barrow were buried apart. An on-and-off subject of public fascination since their two-year rampage across the American Southwest in the 1930s, Bonnie and Clyde have presented an image of glamour, recklessness, freedom, and all-consuming love that has never quite faded from pop culture. In this exquisitely researched biography, Blumenthal doesn’t entirely dispute that image, but she’s careful to explore why the crime-spree duo was, and is, so easily romanticized, without romanticizing them herself. The text is precise, unemotional, and impartial; this, first and foremost, is an investigation of the hardships people faced during the Great Depression. That Bonnie and Clyde were young people, close to their families, often kind, and placed in extraordinarily difficult circumstances is not disputed, but neither is the extent of their crimes; in sidebars, Blumenthal profiles each of the people that the Barrow Gang killed. Additional sidebars investigate some of the legends surrounding the duo, and the circumstances that led to their popularity. An extraordinarily successful resource about a painful time in history and a complicated, infamous pair.” —Booklist

“Through vivid narrative and meticulous research, Karen Blumenthal takes readers on a wild spree, masterfully capturing the zeitgeist of Depression-era America, when dead-ends and despair could turn teenagers into killers, and killers into legends.” —Candace Fleming, award-winning author of The Family Romanov and Amelia Lost

“Mean, tragic, and glamorous, Bonnie and Clyde live on in legend as depraved dreamers and notorious outlaws-in-love. Blumenthal's account of their real-life rise and fall is a vivid tale of poverty, violence, and celebrity in Depression-era America.”—Deobrah Noyes, author of Ten Days a Madwoman and The Magician and the Spirits.

“I knew the names Bonnie and Clyde, and that they were famous outlaws—but I was amazed by the twists and turns of their lives on the run. Blumenthal does a fantastic job separating myth from fact, turning romanticized legend into a hard-boiled true crime story.” —Steve Sheinkin, three-time National Book Award Finalist and author of many acclaimed books, including Undefeated, Most Dangerous, and The Port Chicago 50

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Bonnie and Clyde: The Making of a Legend
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