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The Great American Outlaw - A Legacy of Fact and Fiction (Paperback, New edition) Loot Price: R307
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The Great American Outlaw - A Legacy of Fact and Fiction (Paperback, New edition): Frank Richard Prassel
The Great American Outlaw - A Legacy of Fact and Fiction (Paperback, New edition): Frank Richard Prassel

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The Great American Outlaw - A Legacy of Fact and Fiction (Paperback, New edition)

Frank Richard Prassel

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List price R377 Loot Price R307 Discovery Miles 3 070 You Save R70 (19%)

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An engaging and anecdotal exploration by Praasel (Criminal Justice/Univ. of Arkansas; The Western Peace Officer, 1992 - not reviewed) of the background, history, legends, social contexts, and representations of the outlaw, from Robin Hood to Thelma and Louise. Fugitives declared by the courts as outside the protection of the law, their rights and property forfeited, their lives endangered, outlaws are a curious combination of victim and villain, violence and innocence, independence and depravity - a symbol of resistance to society's injustices and a major threat to society. From England's highwaymen, pirates, and witches to America's cattle rustlers, train robbers, and gangsters, Prassel juxtaposes the miserable, lonely, hunted, brutal, and dangerous real lives of outlaws with the idealizations that have appeared in folk ballads (he offers a collection), novels, films (as in the very first narrative film, 1903's The Great Train Robbery), and on radio and TV. His outlaws include Captain Kidd and Billy the Kid, Dillinger and E.T., Sawney Beane (the prototype of Sweeney Todd) and Patty Hearst, Daniel Boone and Manuel Noriega - an odd assortment, admittedly subjective, primarily Anglo-Saxon and Hispanic, and violating the orderly classification with which he started. Some of Prassel's examples require an imaginative stretch - the chapter on women, for instance, starts predictably with English pirates and prostitutes but moves on to film stars, the femme fatale, the sexual temptress originated by Theda Bara and consummated in Kathleen Turner. Underlying themes include the contrapuntal relationship between the law and the outlaw, the contributions of law enforcement to crime, and the odd alliance between criminals and show business. An excellent introduction that raises such major questions as why creative artists are so fascinated by outlaws and why crime permeates popular culture in a relatively peaceful society. (Kirkus Reviews)

This book explores in depth the origins, development, and prospects of outlawry and of the relationship of outlaws to the social conditions of changing times.

Throughout American history you will find larger-than-life brigands in every period and every region. Often, because we hunger for simple justice, we romanticize them to the point of being unable to separate fact from fiction. Frank Richard Prassel brings this home in a thorough and fascinating examination of the concept of outlawry from Robin Hood, Dick Turpin, and Blackbeard through Jean Lafitte, Pancho Villa, and Billy the Kid to more modern personalities such as John Dillinger, Claude Dallas, and D. B. Cooper. A separate chapter on molls, plus equal treatment in the histories of gangs, traces women's involvement in outlaw activities.

Prassel covers the folklore as well as the facts, even including an appendix of ballads by and about outlaws. He makes clear how this motley group of bandits, pirates, highwaymen, desperadoes, rebels, hoodlums, renegades, gangsters, and fugitives--who stand tall in myth--wither in the light of truth, but flourish in the movies. As he tells the stories, there is little to confirm that Jesse and Frank James, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, the Daltons, Pretty Boy Floyd, Ma Barker, Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, Belle Starr, the Apache Kid, or any of the so-called good badmen, did anything that did not enrich or otherwise benefit themselves. But there is plenty of evidence, in the form of slain victims and ruined lives, to show how many ways they caused harm.

"The Great American Outlaw "is as much an excellent survey on the phenomenon as it is a brilliant exposition of the larger than-life figures who created it. Above all, it is a tribute to that aspect of humanity that Americans admire most and that Prassel describes as a willingness "to fight, however hopelessly, against exhibitions of privilege."


Imprint: University of Oklahoma Press
Country of origin: United States
Release date: August 1996
First published: September 1996
Authors: Frank Richard Prassel
Dimensions: 235 x 152 x 24mm (L x W x T)
Format: Paperback
Pages: 432
Edition: New edition
ISBN-13: 978-0-8061-2842-9
Categories: Promotions
Books > Social sciences > Sociology, social studies > Crime & criminology
Books > Social sciences > Sociology, social studies > Crime & criminology > General
Books > Humanities > History > History of specific subjects > Social & cultural history
Books > History > History of specific subjects > Social & cultural history
LSN: 0-8061-2842-9
Barcode: 9780806128429

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