~Written by Ronald E. Yates
Western Kansas 1860. Billy Battles is born on a remote homestead just off the storied Santa Fe Trail. More than one hundred years later a great-grandson inherits two trunks filled with Billy's personal effects. In those trunks are several secret journals that reveal an astonishing life of adventure and violence that until now was obscured by the haze of time and Billy's desire for secrecy.
The journals tell of a man both haunted and hunted who, in a desperate search for peace and redemption, journeys far from the untamed American West to the Far East, South America, and Europe. In amazing detail they describe Billy's interaction with a wide assortment of men and women--some legendary, a few iniquitous, and many lost to history. They also recount his participation in such cataclysmic events as the Spanish-American War, turmoil in French Indochina, and violent revolutions in Mexico and South America.
Complying with Billy's last request the great-grandson assembles the journals into a compelling trilogy that reveals a man often trapped and overwhelmed by circumstances beyond his control, but who nevertheless manages to persevere for ten decades. (Amazon)
Finding Billy Battles is a captivating novel about the fascinating life and trials of William Battles. Readers will become immersed in the exciting and intense adventures that seem to lie in wait for Billy to uncover.
A great grandfather's desire to share his remarkable life, through his personal journals, with his grandson leads to this incredible journey through US history. As William Battles's life comes to an end, his great grandson Ted's life is just beginning. Taking a liking to Ted, the only living male Battles heir, William leaves a trunk full of journals, old movies, and memorabilia to him with instructions to share the eventful life his great grandfather lived.
This story is just amazing. I was immediately draw in by the alluring story line and vast array of interesting and colorful characters. I like how Billy's life is intertwined with famous and infamous people who shaped the west back in the 1800's. Shootouts and cross country excursions also add to the intensity of this all around great read.
I highly recommend picking up a copy of Finding Billy Battles. Available on Amazon.
Ronald E. Yates is Professor Emeritus and former Dean of the College of Media at the University of Illinois. Yates was appointed Dean in August 2003 after heading the College of Media's Department of Journalism. He joined the University of Illinois as Journalism Department Head in 1997 following a 27-year career with the Chicago Tribune as an award-winning foreign correspondent, senior writer and editor. He stepped down as Dean in September 2010 to concentrate on writing and film projects.
While at the Chicago Tribune, Yates accumulated extensive international experience. He lived and worked 18 years as a foreign correspondent in Japan, Southeast Asia and Latin America where he covered several wars and revolutions from the 1970s into the 1990s, including the fall of South Vietnam and Cambodia in 1975, the Tiananmen Square tragedy in Beijing in 1989, and political upheavals in South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and The Philippines. He also covered wars and revolutions in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Brazil and Colombia.
In addition to reporting on the political and social changes in these countries Prof. Yates spent many years documenting the shifting global economic conditions that are reshaping traditional business affiliations between the United States and its foreign trading partners.
His work as a foreign correspondent resulted in four Pulitzer Prize nominations and several other awards. In 1990 he received a commendation from the Gerald Loeb Foundation for an in-depth series of stories entitled: "Vanishing Borders: Trade in the 1990s" and he has also won the Inter-American Press Association's Tom Wallace Award for coverage of Central and South America. His work as a foreign correspondent was rewarded by the Tribune with three Edward Scott Beck Awards and in 1993 Yates won the Peter Lisagor Award from the Professional Society of Journalists for excellence in business writing. Before joining the Tribune in 1970 Yates served with U.S. Military Intelligence in Germany as an intelligence analyst.Author/Speaker
Prof. Yates is a frequent speaker at seminars and symposiums dealing with such diverse topics as war correspondence, international affairs, relations between Asia and the United States and the critical topic of how American companies are competing globally. He has spoken at seminars sponsored by Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, the U.S. Automotive Export Council, the International Trade Association, the World Trade Center, the Council on Competitiveness, the Competitiveness Policy Council and the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, to name a few.
He is author of The Kikkoman Chronicles: A Global Company with A Japanese Soul, published by McGraw-Hill. He is also the author of Aboard The Tokyo Express: A Foreign Correspondent's Journey Through Japan, a collection of columns translated into Japanese. Prof. Yates also wrote and published two text books for use in journalism classes: The Journalist's Handbook and International Reporting and Foreign Correspondents.
Prof. Yates published a novel entitled Finding Billy Battles: An Account of Peril, Transgression and Redemption in October 2013. It is the first book in a trilogy. Hei s currently working on a book based on his experiences as a foreign correspondent in Asia from the early 1970s to the early 1990s. Its working title is The Last Rickshaw Home: A Foreign Correspondent's Journey Through Asia. (Amazon)