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UnDisciplined: What the life of Ira Hayes can teach us about the price of heroism

Kenneth Taylor Jr
Photo taken by Joe Rosenthal of six Marines raising an American flag over Iwo Jima during World War II.

You have almost certainly seen Joe Rosenthal's, iconic photograph of six Marines raising an American flag over Iwo Jima during World War II. One of the men in that image was Ira Hayes, who has been commemorated in movies and songs but whose actual life after the war is still shrouded in a lot of mystery.

Tom Holm is a professor emeritus of American Indian Studies at the University of Arizona, an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation with Muskogee Creek ancestry, a Marine Corps Veteran of the Vietnam War, and the author of a new book on Ira Hayes and the Price of Heroism.

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Matthew LaPlante has reported on ritual infanticide in Northern Africa, insurgent warfare in the Middle East, the legacy of genocide in Southeast Asia, and gang violence in Central America. But a few years back, something donned on him: Maybe the news doesn't have to be brutally depressing all the time. Today, he balances his continuing work on more heartbreaking subjects by writing books about the intersection of science, human health and society, including the New York Times best-selling <i>Lifespan</i> with geneticist David Sinclair and the Nautilus Award-winning <i>Longevity Plan</i> with cardiologist John Day. His first solo book, <i>Superlative</i>, looks at what scientists are learning by studying organisms that have evolved in record-setting ways, and his is currently at work on another book about embracing the inevitability of human-caused climate change with an optimistic outlook on the future.<br/>