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.
Based on the definitive biography of a remarkable writer, Jim Tully: American Writer, Irish Rover, Hollywood Brawler, Road Kid to Writer compellingly describes the hardscrabble life of an Irish American storyteller, from his immigrant roots, rural upbringing, and life as a hobo riding the rails to the emergent dream factory of early and Golden Age Hollywood and the fall of his fortunes during the Great Depression.
Many saw the dark side of the American dream, but none wrote about it like Jim Tully.