The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 84, July 1980 - April, 1981

Book Reviews

San Antonio before it reached a metropolitan status, that it is hoped
will tempt readers to deeper research.
Austin ARTHUR J. MAYER
Ambush: The Real Story of Bonnie and Clyde. By Ted Hinton, as told
to Larry Groves. (Austin: Shoal Creek Publishers, Inc., 1979. Pp.
xv+ 211. Foreword, illustrations, appendices, index. $12.50.)
A mystique has surrounded Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker since
their brief but often spectacular crime spree during the 193os. In 1967
a film interpretation, Bonnie and Clyde, elevated the couple to the first
rank of folk heroes. The following year I'm Frank Hamer was pub-
lished, offering the most useful book on the subject to that date and
reinforcing the popular impression that Hamer, a former Texas
Ranger, was the leading figure in tracking down Bonnie and Clyde.
Now a significant addition to the lore of Bonnie and Clyde has been
provided by Ted Hinton. A Dallas native who was acquainted per-
sonally with Bonnie and Clyde and their families, Hinton was the last
surviving member of the six-man posse which killed the notorious
couple on a Louisiana road in 1934. Assisted by free-lance writer Larry
Grove, Hinton completed his reminiscences just before he died in
1977. The result of their efforts is Ambush, which portrays Hinton as
the central figure in the pursuit of the Barrow gang, and which chal-
lenges other conventions of the traditional story. According to Hinton,
for example, the father of Barrow's accomplice, Henry Methvin, did
not betray Bonnie and Clyde to obtain leniency for his wayward son.
Rather, the senior Methvin was handcuffed illegally to a tree so that
he would not give away the presence of the posse. Hinton also doubted
that Clyde composed the famous letter to Henry Ford praising the V-8
automobile, and he stated that the photograph picturing Bonnie as a
cigar smoker was a fabrication which insulted her.
An excellent appendix outlines the chronology of the career of Bon-
nie and Clyde, and another useful appendix lists the dozen homicide
victims of the Barrow gang. Twenty-five photographs are included in
the volume. There is a good index, but the book lacks both footnotes
and a bibliography. Hinton reportedly drew upon his collection of
newspapers, public records, and "extensive scrapbooks" (p. xi) to sup-
plement his memory. An inventory of this material should have been
provided. Another weakness is the frequent use of unannotated con-
versational quotations.

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 84, July 1980 - April, 1981. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101225/. Accessed July 24, 2014.