When a great-grandson inherits two aging trunks and a stack of meticulously detailed journals penned by his great-grandfather, he sets out to fulfill his great-grandfather’s last request: to tell the story of an inconceivable life replete with adventure, violence and tragedy. The great-grandfather’s name? Billy Battles–a man often trapped and overwhelmed by circumstances beyond his control.
For much of his 100-year-long life Billy is a man missing and largely unknown to his descendants. His great-grandson is about to change that. As he works his way through the aging journals and the other possessions he finds in the battered trunks, he uncovers the truth about his mysterious great-grandfather–a man whose deeds and misdeeds propelled him on an extraordinary and perilous journey from the untamed American West to the inscrutable Far East, Latin America and Europe.
As he flips through the pages of the handwritten journals, he learns of Billy’s surprising connections to the Spanish-American War, French Indochina, and revolutions in Mexico and other Latin American countries. But most of all, he learns that in finding Billy Battles he has also found a long lost and astonishing link to his past.
“A Surprisingly Good Story”
Five Star Review on Amazon By Amelia Wallace
I have to admit that I’m not a big fan of the western genre, but this book came highly recommended by a friend. I was pleasantly surprised on how much I enjoyed Billy Battles’ story. Ronald E. Yates writes a well written and crafted novel containing good action sequences and fascinating characters. Finding Billy Battles kept me captivated from start to finish. I didn’t mind the rough and tough dialogue that hard men of the old west usually have.
I agree with the other reviewers that it was smart on Yates part to include the prologue in order to set up the story and create a family dynamic between the older Billy Battles and his great grandson, Ted. It’s basically taking a walk into the past of a very interesting man who has lived a lifetime and experienced things most people could not even imagine. Overall, Finding Billy Battles was a surprising good read, and I can’t wait to read the next book.
About the Author
I am a former foreign correspondent for the Chicago Tribune and Professor Emeritus of Journalism at the University of Illinois where I was also the Dean of the College of Media.
My book, “The Improbable Journeys of Billy Battles,” is the second in my Finding Billy Battles trilogy of novels and was published in June 2016. The first book in the trilogy, “Finding Billy Battles,” was published in 2014.
I am also the author of The Kikkoman Chronicles: A Global Company with A Japanese Soul, published by McGraw-Hill. Other books include Aboard The Tokyo Express: A Foreign Correspondent’s Journey Through Japan, a collection of columns translated into Japanese, as well as three journalism textbooks: The Journalist’s Handbook, International Reporting and Foreign Correspondents, and Business and Financial Reporting in a Global Economy.
During my career as a foreign correspondent I lived and worked in Japan, Southeast Asia and Latin America where I covered several major stories including the fall of South Vietnam and Cambodia in 1975; the 1989 Tiananmen Square tragedy in Beijing; Afghanistan during the last year of the Russian occupation; and revolutions in Nicaragua, El Salvador an Guatemala.
My work as a correspondent was rewarded with several awards, including three Pulitzer nominations; the Inter-American Press Association’s Tom Wallace Award for coverage of Central and South America; the Peter Lisagor Award from the Society of Professional Journalists; and three Edward Scott Beck Awards.
I write a blog entitled “ForeignCorrespondent” that can be found at: http://ronaldyatesbooks.com/category/foreign-correspondent/. My Website and authors pages can be found at: http://ronaldyatesbooks.com// and at the Authors’ Guild: http://www.ronaldyates.com/index.htm and on Amazon’s Author Central page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KHDVZI.
I am a proud graduate of the William Allen White School of Journalism at the University of Kansas.