- 9,49 €
"This engaging biography exactly and vividly catches the tone of a region, a time, and a man."—Larry McMurtry
From the best-selling author of Billy the Kid and Route 66, a true-life story of a notorious outlaw that magnificently re-creates the vanished, impoverished world of Dust Bowl America. Michael Wallis evokes the hard times of the era as he follows the life of Charles "Pretty Boy" Floyd from his coming of age, when there were no jobs and no food, to his descent into a life of petty crime, bootlegging, murder, and prison. Before long he was one of the FBI's original "public enemies." After a series of spectacular bank robberies he was slain in an Ohio field in 1934 at the age of thirty. Pretty Boy is social history at its best, portraying, with a sweeping style, the larger story of the hardscrabble farmers whose lives were so intolerably shattered by the Depression.
Delivering more than an outstanding biography of Public Enemy No. 1 during the 1930s, Wallis ( Route 66 ) offers exceptional social and regional history as well. Floyd was born in 1904 in northwest Georgia, then still recuperating from Sherman's march to the sea 40 years before. In 1911 his family moved to Oklahoma, where they hoped farming would be less arduous and more rewarding financially, which it was not; the Great Depression began for farmers at the end of WW I, a decade before it struck the rest of the country. A hard-working youth who picked cotton as a child, Charles turned away from a life of unending toil and no money to become ``a social bandit,'' generously spreading funds stolen from banks among family, friends and even strangers. The clannish hill people of Oklahoma looked on him as a hero and hid him from law officers. Finally the FBI declared war on him and he was shot down in Ohio in 1934 while trying to get back to his adopted state, where between 20,000 and 40,000 people attended his funeral. Illustrations.