Finding Billy Battles

Finding Billy Battles

by Ronald Yates

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Overview

A link to the past no one could ever imagine.

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.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940150476691
Publisher: California Times Publishing
Publication date: 11/19/2014
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

I am a former foreign correspondent for the Chicago Tribune and Dean Emeritus of the College of Media at the University of Illinois where I was also a Professor of Journalism.

My new book, Finding Billy Battles, is the first in a trilogy of novels. 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 am a proud graduate of the William Allen White School of Journalism at the University of Kansas.

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Finding Billy Battles 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
D.L. Finn More than 1 year ago
“Finding Billy Battles” is a historical fiction that takes us back to the days of the wild west. It is told through journals left to a great-grandson who reads them years after William Battles dies. Billy Battles was raised by a single mother. He takes a break from college to leave his home town and go work for a newspaper in Dodge City. He meets people we’re familiar with including: Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday and Bat Masterson--that are seamlessly weaved into the story. I have always loved to read a historical fiction book and lose myself in the past. Mr. Yates brought this time-period to life with lots of relevant details and plenty of action that completely drew me into this world. I highly recommend this book if you love stories about the old west or just enjoy a well-told tale.
SSkipper More than 1 year ago
William Battles grew up fatherless in Lawrence, Kansas. At an early age he embarked on a career in journalism, which took him to Dodge City where he fell in with the likes of Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson. A chance encounter with a family of desperados earned him the enmity of one Nate Bledsoe for the accidental killing of his mother. Bledsoe and his gang haunt Billy Battles with murderous intent. After marrying and having a daughter, Battles’ familial bliss is unsettled by the blood feud with Bledsoe, culminating in a shootout at the homestead at Battles Gap, Kansas. The aftermath and subsequent adversity drive the tortured Battles to escape his past by fleeing to the Orient. This first installment of the life and times of Billy Battles, supposedly based on his own journals, is a first class tale of the late nineteenth century. The setting is convincing and clearly well researched. The historical characters speak in true to life voices and well-known events, such as the shootout at the OK Corral, are related with the verisimilitude of a firsthand account. The prose is also excellent as one would expect since the author tells us he is a professor of journalism. Therefore, this reader finds it baffling—nay, inconceivable—that the editorial style is so unorthodox. Having multiple speakers within the same paragraph caused much confusion. Mr. Yates must also hold a PhD in colloquialisms. Nowhere will you find more old-fashioned words and sayings as in Finding Billy Battles. Despite these peculiarities, it is quite a good story, although occasionally slowed by a slight excess of detail.