Pretty Boy Floyd: An Outlaw Hero

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— Scott Allison and George Goethals

5 thoughts on “Pretty Boy Floyd: An Outlaw Hero

  1. Economic conditions probably also play a role of making “heroes” of various outlaws. With the James gang, the South was recovering from the Civil War. With Floyd, the nation was in the midst of the Depression which had many people blaming the banks for their situation. So someone robbing these institutions would be to some extent admired. Think of it as revenge by proxy.

  2. Indeed. When the establishment is the enemy, those who oppose The Man are the heroes. In this case, perhaps anti-hero; although even that seems to be pushing it. Whatever else he may have done, Pretty Boy Floyd was a cold-blooded killer; his murders of innocent people did nothing to bring relief to those who were suffering.

    Kind of makes you wonder what the real Robin Hood was like. 😀

  3. it is difficult not the portray an individual who helps those less fortunate as a hero. in many way the ends justify the means in the world of heroics (such as in the actions of Bernie Goetz), and Floyd’s case seems to be no different. people idolize him not because of his crime ridden past and his avoidance of the law, but because he was willing to help those who had fallen on hard times.

  4. Hi, just looked at your site and the article on Pretty Boy Floyd. It should be no great surprise that Woody Guthrie be quoted frequently. To my mind he’s a greater writer and a larger American figure than Dylan or Springstein. I was just going to post my version of Guthrie’s song on my blog Also on the site are songs about other great heroes and villains: Jessie James, John Henry, Tom Joad, so maybe you want to check it out. It is interesting that one of the more respected professions in America is bank robber.

  5. Of course, most crimes are corporate crimes…and regularized corporate theft is always one feature of our high-theft economy. We watch as The Banksters steal enough money to submerge the world economy. We watch as those least able to afford it get targeted to bring it back to life.

    To suggest that capitalists aren’t to blame for the Great Depression, and this latest Great Recession, is an imbecile claim. As is the suggestion that those guilty of delivering such nightmares ought not be held responsible for doing so. These individuals have of course done more to harm our society than Pretty Boy Floyd. They’ve done more to harm us than all the terrorists we’ve supposedly been making war upon.

    Where are the folk heroes created in response to this massive injustice?

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