Born to immigrant Russian Jews, raised as a child in the Llano Del Rio utopian socialist community experiment in the United States and later on the mean streets of East Los Angeles, Phillip Elkins has had a fascinating life. Elkins completely immersed himself in the Mexicn subculture of mid-century East LA, but was never fully accepted. Drafted and shipped to Vietnam as a medic with the First Cavalry Division, he came home to California in The Summer of Love amid all the changes taking place in American society during the 1960’s.
Phillip Elkins has written several books about his life, his experiences in Vietnam and East LA, and his family history. Phillip Elkins books are available on Amazon.com in Kindle form for your convenience.
Phillip's book: Running from the Fire describes in “you are there” detail how a young man growing up in 2 cultures tries to find exactly where he fits in. He’s a minority (a Russian Jew) doing everything he can do to fit into an even smaller minority; an East LA “cholo” or a street tough. The story chronicles the many challenges and changes he faces in order to survive being targeted as a little, skinny, Jewish kid with glasses into an affable, street wise, playful, albeit confused individual.
The book begins with the main character trying to adjust to school using his own merits only to be challenged by the differences between his family and his peer group. He struggles with the many difficulties he must make as he gets older, gets his teenage girlfriend pregnant, puts the baby up for adoption, is drafted into the army and finds himself in the middle of the Central Highlands of Vietnam as a medic. He ultimately survives that experience only to find himself adjusting to the many social changes going on in America in 1968 when he returns to East LA.
Running from the Fire takes the reader, through human circumstance and humor, going from one situation to another and seeing exactly what it is like finding yourself in a mixture of remarkable social conditions. The book covers includes memoirs, travel and the Vietnam war that younger generations as well as Baby Boomers today are interested in the similarities with the war in Iraq and looking back at their own experience with Vietnam and the societal changes taking place today including health, history, humor, psychology and self help.
Running from the Fire is approximately 86,000 words and includes many tragic-comedy events where the reader gets to feel what it is like to be caught between two worlds.
Running from the Fire details what happened to many of the troops who served in Vietnam. There were 500,000 US troops in Vietnam at the height of the War. The war lasted 15 years. In that time 55,000 were killed in country. Running from the Fire describes what happened to one of the men who was sent there.