Foxcatcher: The True Story of My Brother’s Murder, John du Pont’s Madness, and the Quest for Olympic Gold
by Mark Schultz with David Thomas
(Dutton, 2014, 320 pages)
After watching the movie Foxcatcher (2014) from director Bennett Miller, I immediately wanted to know more about the stories of the Schultz brothers and John du Pont. The movie is strange, sparse, and tense. The book, while it covers the bizarre events that played out on John du Pont’s Foxcatcher Farm, is primarily about Mark Schultz’s wrestling career. He talks about growing up with his brother Dave, getting a late start in high school wrestling, the details of his college and Olympic career, and training with the team that du Pont put together and tyrannically ruled over.
While the movie portrays the period when Mark lived on du Pont’s estate, this is only an episode – if a central one – in the book. The book reveals the significant liberties that were taken in the film, both with chronology and with facts. However, I think the film zeroed in on the most interesting aspects of Schultz’s account. It effectively portrayed the invasive and dangerous environment created on the estate by and isolated and delusional millionaire. If you’ve seen and enjoyed the movie, the book is worth reading for its first-hand accounts of du Pont’s treacherous eccentricity.