Ron Elliott's Books
By Robert B. Loring in Leatherneck Magazine, March 2011
On Feb. 23, 1945, one of the most famous photographs ever taken was snapped by a civilian photojournalist named Joe Rosenthal, The classic image captured five Marines and one sailor hoisting Old Glory atop Mt. Suribachi on the Japanese island of Iwo Jima. “The raising of that flag on Suribachi means a Marine Corps for the next 500 years,” said then Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal of this stunning photo.
Who were those leathernecks and the corpsman now forever frozen in our collective memories? The three survivors of the battle, PFC Rene A. Gagnon, Pharmacist’s Mate Second Class John H. “Doc” Bradley and the Pima Indian Ira H. Hayes are, perhaps, the best known. They are remembered mainly for their ensuing war bond tour and their post-war movie celebrity. On the other hand, Cpl. Harlon H. Block, Sgt Michael “Mike” Strank and PFC Franklin R. Sousley died warriors’ deaths on that fire-swept sulfuric island, before the legendary photo became a touchstone image.
"From Hilltop to Mountaintop” focuses on one of the lesser known flag raisers, PFC Franklin Sousley. In his preface, the author ponders the central question: How might one write a biography of a Marine who lived only to the youthful age of 19? His answer is unambiguous: The book is neither a biography nor is it a history. It is, however, the simple story of one Marine who lived life briefly but whose appearance in this iconicphotograph helped symbolize a world at war.
Leatherneck Magazine Review
From Amazon.com: December 27, 2012
Great book! This was a very captivating book. I couldn't put it down. It was very well written. I remember that night as we drove near the site of the fire. We had been at the supper club a couple weeks before the fire. It was nice to read all about the history of the building also."
"Nicely done! The biography is fairly standard, although the author has found a few new interesting tidbits, including the fact that Lincoln's father once was paid to round up runaway slaves in KY. The best part of the book is the photography. Every page is brightened by wonderful current photos of places that Lincoln actually saw. Each photo is gorgeous, and it really makes some of the places come alive. These photos alone make this book a must-have for a Lincoln collector."
Wild West Magazine's review of American El Dorado