Autobiography/Memoir

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Beggars of Life: A Hobo Autobiography

Jim Tully

2003

A bestseller in 1924, 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 after years in an orphanage, 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.