Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Jeff Guinn Experience--

Don't worry Jimi-- the above title in no way reflects, some new and inventive guitar based rock band. As many within the Bonnie & Clyde historical community know, I've spent much time lambasting author Jeff Guinn regarding his book Go Down Together: The True Story of Bonnie and Clyde. I've found Mr. Guinn to be surprisingly candid in his admissions, regarding an apparent lack of respect for historical accuracy and due diligence-- in preparation for his latest work. As I've written through other outlets, ad infinitum concerning what I view as Guinn's shortfalls, within his attempt at historical writing-- I wish only to quote again here, Jeff's "remarkable" admission which may live in infamy-- and comment briefly.

"All written history is ultimately best guess, and clearly you and I have guessed differently in some instances".

No Jeff, please don't include me within your guessing games, as it may be you alone, that touts guessing as an acceptable mindset within the written preservation of history. I'm proud to defend this unique and storied history. Knowingly or not, the effect of at least some of your contribution, I feel is to diminish this history (already fraught with lore)-- through an injection of needless innuendo and mindless sensationalism. My challenges to your bewildering suppositions, are based on supportable facts-- and the reports of "more than credible" eye witnesses to the events of May 23rd, 1934. I find your use of newly enhanced lore, along with your inclusion of unproven artifacts as the primary basis for a crucial claim-- without even knowing the correct provenance of those artifacts (yet another remarkable admission)-- as being irresponsible acts for an historical author. Some may not care too much about protecting Bonnie Parker's and Frank Hamer's reputations, from the likes of less than diligent authors like you-- but I care-- and care with enthusiasm.

In my view, facts and honesty should prevail over 1/2 truths, untruths and innuendo. Since I've never seen it agreed, that authors should get a free pass, just because they can form words into book form-- no free pass for you. I've also never seen it expressed, that what's less than honest good work and truth-- should be respected out of hand. I'm glad to see others from outside the Bonnie and Clyde historical realm, reviewing this book-- in less than glowing terms.

My thanks to those who are paying attention, instead of just following the unenlightened herd-- into the seemingly green pastures of sensationalized fodder. As Socrates said--

"Think not those faithful who praise all thy words and actions; but those who kindly reprove thy faults."

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