Synopses & Reviews
In 1923, not long after oil had started gushing from northern Montana fields, declining real-estate sales in nearby Shelby were dimming the little townand#8217;s prospects of becoming the and#8220;Tulsa of the West.and#8221; Then the mayorand#8217;s son dreamed up a marketing ploy: offer to host heavyweight champion Jack Dempseyand#8217;s next fight. What began as a publicity stunt soon spiraled into a civic drama unlike any Montana had ever seen. Shelbyand#8217;s Folly
tells this story in full for the first time.
Against the background of boom-and-bust Montana history, the folly of Shelbyand#8217;s would-be promoters unfolds in colorful detail. It took months to persuade Dempseyand#8217;s conniving manager, Jack and#8220;Docand#8221; Kearns, to sign a $300,000 contract. With less than two months before the July 4 fight, the town still had no stadium and no accommodations for tens of thousands of expected fans. Jason Kelly describes the promotersand#8217; desperate measures and their disastrous results, from the first inkling of the idea to the bitter end of the fifteen-round boxing match. Shelby residents identified with the underdog challenger, Tommy Gibbons, who went toe-to-toe with the champion in an atmosphere crackling with tension. A soap opera of financial intrigue and chicanery, Shelbyand#8217;s Folly chronicles how Big Sky ambition and Doc Kearnsand#8217;s scheming mind collided to produce one of the most preposterous series of events in boxing history.
Watch the .
Mark Wahlberg ("Boogie Nights") and Christian Bale ("The Dark Knight") will star in "The Fighter," in theaters coming December 10. "Irish Thunder" is the story behind the film--a chronicle of Irish Micky Ward's unlikely road to the world light welterweight title.
About the Author
Jason Kelly is an associate editor of the University of Chicago Magazine. He is the author of Mr. Notre Dame: The Life and Legend of Edward and#8220;Mooseand#8221; Krause.