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Beggars of Life: A Hobo Autobiography (NABAT) [Paperback]

By Jim Tully & Charles Ray Willeford (Introduction by)
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Item description for Beggars of Life: A Hobo Autobiography (NABAT) by Jim Tully & Charles Ray Willeford...

A bestseller in 1924, this vivid piece of outlaw history has inexplicably faded from the public consciousness. Jim Tully takes us across the seamy underbelly of pre-WWI America on freight trains, and inside hobo jungles and brothels while narrowly averting railroad bulls (cops) and wardens of order.

Written with unflinching honesty and insight, Beggars of Life follows Tully from his first ride at age thirteen, choosing life on the road over a deadening job, through his teenage years of learning the ropes of the rails and -living one meal to the next.

Tully's direct, confrontational approach helped shape the hard-boiled school of writing, and later immeasurably influenced the noir genre. Beggars of Life was the first in Tully's five-volume memoir, dubbed the "Underworld Edition," recalling his transformation from road-kid to novelist, journalist, Hollywood columnist, chain maker, boxer, circus handyman, and tree surgeon.

Jim Tully (18911947) was a best-selling novelist and popular Hollywood journalist in the 1920s and '30s. Known as "Cincinnati Red" during his years as a road-kid, he counted prizefighter and publicist of Charlie Chaplin among his many jobs. He is considered (with Dashiel Hammett) one of the inventors of the hard-boiled style of American writing.





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Item Specifications...


Pages   256
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 5.75" Height: 8.5"
Weight:   0.7 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 1, 2003
Publisher   AK Press
ISBN  1902593782  
ISBN13  9781902593784  


Availability  10 units.
Availability accurate as of Mar 26, 2017 09:03.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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More About Jim Tully & Charles Ray Willeford


Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Jim Tully (1886-1947) was born in St. Marys, Ohio. He is the author of numerous books chronicling the American underclass, including Circus Parade (1927; The Kent State University Press, 2009), Shanty Irish (1928; The Kent State University Press, 2009), Shadows of Men (1930), and Blood on the Moon (1931).

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > General
2Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Memoirs
3Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Sociology > General



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Reviews - What do customers think about Beggars of Life: A Hobo Autobiography (NABAT)?

Good book - Circus Parade even better  Oct 15, 2006
Beggars of Life is the most famous Tully book, but I like Circus Parade even better. If you see a used copy - grab it.
 
Counter culture and Communism  Aug 18, 2006
Interesting historical perspective from the point of view of the disenfranchised working people in the 20's and 30's. It showed me how the economic crash and the government's approach in dealing with it caused widespread reactionism. I saw the closest approach to validate Communism in US history. It raised some of the first strong movements toward socialism, anarchy, crime, free love and the daily adventures of the "everyman" brotherhood of the road.
 
Forgotten Classic of the Hard-boiled Style Now Back in Print  May 14, 2004
In this account of his years on the road, Jim Tully achieved a perfect marriage of pared down prose and marginal subjects that launched his career as one of the best paid, most popular nonfiction writers in America at the time. With Beggars of Life it's not hard to see why Tully was so popular: this ostensibly simple story about hoboing both illuminates the early 20th century (entirely from the view of the reject and the freak and the "punkgrafter") and also manages to speak to the jaded, bored punks of today. It's a surprisingly wild read; race riots, deformities, violence, sex, drinking, cop-bashing, election-fixing, and corruption erupt throughout. But they are portrayed with such a simple elegance and detachment-- perhaps this is why it has fallen down one of the many memory holes our country reserves for dissenting work. The AK Press edition features a lively introduction by late pulp-legend Charles Willeford. As Willeford argues, Tully deserves to take his place beside Hemingway as a founder of the uniquely American, hard-boiled style of prose.
 
A Beautiful, Quintessentially American Hobo Tale  Mar 14, 2003
In this account of his years on the road, Jim Tully achieved a perfect marriage of pared down prose and marginal subjects that launched his career as one of the best paid, most popular nonfiction writers in America at the time. With Beggars of Life it's not hard to see why Tully was so popular: this ostensibly simple story about hoboing both illuminates the early 20th century (entirely from the view of the reject and the freak and the "punkgrafter") and also manages to speak to the jaded, bored punks of today. It's a surprisingly wild read; race riots, deformities, violence, sex, drinking, cop-bashing, election-fixing, and corruption erupt throughout. But they are portrayed with such a simple elegance and detachment-- perhaps this is why it has fallen down one of the many memory holes our country reserves for dissenting work. Scandalously long out of print and worth finding.
 
A Mighty Vagabond  Mar 25, 2000
In this picaresque autobiography, Jim Tully takes us on a teen-aged hobo's ride through early-20th-century America. Set in the hobo jungles, freight cars, trainyards, flophouses and brothels from coast to shining coast, the author introduces us to victims of a society that has no use for them -- literally the great unwashed -- men and women whose morality is dictated by necessity (most notably, hunger). Frightening in part, but also touching, and at times damned funny, Tully gives us a fine portrait of a piece of Americana that no longer exists as such, but whose inhabitants have still not gone away. Though tame by today's literary standards (I doubt that it could have been published in 1924 had it been otherwise), no thinking reader's imagination will fail to fill in the gaps of this "hard-boiled" story. After you've read this book you will surely be anxious to read even more by Jim Tully.
 

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