Biographers Mark Dawidziak and Paul Bauer present the remarkable life of Jim Tully (1886-1947), the Irish-American vagabond and hard-boiled writer who rocked Hollywood during the Roaring Twenties.
The son of an Irish ditch-digger, Jim Tully spent most of his teenage years in the company of hoboes. After six years on the road, he jumped off a railroad car with wild aspirations of becoming a writer. While chasing his dream, Tully worked as a chain maker, boxer, newspaper reporter, and tree surgeon. All the while he was crafting his memories of the road into a dark and astonishing chronicle of the American underclass.
After moving to Hollywood and working for Charlie Chaplin, Tully began to write a stream of critically acclaimed books mostly about his road years, including Beggars of Life, Circus Parade, Blood on the Moon, Shadows of Men, and Shanty Irish. He quickly established himself as a major American author and used his status to launch a parallel career as a Hollywood journalist. Much as his gritty books shocked the country, his magazine articles on movies shocked Hollywood. Along the way, he picked up such close friends as W. C. Fields, Jack Dempsey, Damon Runyon, Lon Chaney, Frank Capra, and Erich von Stroheim. He also memorably crossed paths with Jack London, F. Scott Fitzgerald, George Bernard Shaw, James Joyce, and Langston Hughes.
Mark Dawidziak is the television critic for the Plain Dealer newspaper and has been a theater, film, and television reviewer for thirty years with many nonfiction books to his credit. He is also a novelist, playwright and Mark Twain scholar. Paul Bauer is the owner of Archer's Used and Rare Books in Kent, Ohio, and is the co-author of Frazier Robinson's autobiography, Catching Dreams: My Life in the Negro Baseball Leagues.
Introduction by Linda Dowling Almeida, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Irish and Irish-American Studies at NYU, who teaches Irish-American history and literature.