This book was quite an eye opener for me as to the atrocities done on both sides of the war. Be prepared though, there are some very graphic details described in the book. Not recommended reading for the squeamish. It does give some pretty good insight into the mind set of the opposing sides. I have to rate this very high in the must read books about WW II.
Over the remote island of Chichi Jima, nine American flyers...Navy and Marine airmen sent to bomb Japanese communications towers there ... were shot down. one of those nine was miraculousy rescued by a U.S. Navy submarine. The others were captured by Japanesw soldiers on Chichi Jima and held prisoner... Then they disappeared...
An intriguing history of events surrounding a Japanese held island during WWII. Although history, Bradley's story-telling makes this a real page turner. He includes background information about the cultural differences between Japan and the west, and how the U.S. government controlled information, that makes for a fascinating perspective on the war in the Pacific.
Ed B. reviewed Flyboys : A True Story of Courage on
Helpful Score: 2
This book really changed my views about the behavior of the Japanese troops during WWII. I've read about and met survivors of the Bataan Death March. I've read about the atrocities in China, the Phillipines and in Thailand and could not imagine what had driven their sadistic behavior. Bradley makes a convincing case justifying these attitudes tracing back to Perry and his landing in Japan. He tells how the American (Christian) treatment of the Indians reinforced the Japanese idea of sub-humans and justified purging the natives of conquered armies and countries. He tells about the brutality of the Japanese NCOs and officers towards their own troops. He tells of the brutality of LeMay's firebombing of the cities in Japan. He also shows the character of the elder George Bush. He tells of some extremely kind actions and in the end I learn I have to get over it - that was then and this is now. If the participants can put aside their bitterness we need to do it as well.
A great history story but also a great story of the triumph of the human spirit. A real change agent and I'm very glad I read it.
Robert (JackL) reviewed Flyboys : A True Story of Courage on
Helpful Score: 1
The absolute best book that I have read concerning the factual information about what actually happened to our pilots who were downed by the Japanese. Outstanding stories about training,comraderie, and the gruesome details about our POW's and what the Japanese did to them and how they were treated. Brief story about pilot and ex-president George Bush and the close call that he had. I previously had no idea that he had been that close to capture and probably death. A "must read" for any WWII history buff.
I love history and some of the accounts from this small part of WWII is sometimes hard to hear without crying. I can't help but compare these tragic tales with those I hear about now from the Afghan War and the Iraqi War. Man can be particulary cruel. This book relates some things from the Pacific conflict that had been hidden in the past. This is an importent book for any war time history buff. Real life drama with the perspective of time.
This acclaimed bestseller brilliantly illuminates a hidden piece of World War II history as it tells the harrowing true story of nine American airmen shot down in the Pacific. One of them, George H. W. Bush, was miraculously rescued. The fate of the others-an explosive 60-year-old secret-is revealed for the first time in FLYBOYS.
Emma B. reviewed Flyboys : A True Story of Courage on
Absolutely loved this book! I first read Flags of Our Fathers by James Bradley, which is one of my favorite books, so I thought to read Flyboys as well. Bradley tells a harrowing story of the fate of the Flyboys who were bombing Chichi Jima during WWII. Some parts of it are difficult to read in that they are so gruesome it is appalling. Flyboys gives a different view on both the Japanese and the Americans. The book is very informative, intriguing, and perhaps a little frightening, but well worth the read.
The story is true, and some of it interesting. However, those who expect the emotional power and impact of his first book will be quite disappointed. The facts of the illegal killings of the flyboys could have been told in a few pages. In a war in which millions were murdered, by Germans and Japanese, this tragedy was just that, an all too common event. Disclosing the further treatment of the bodies to the families was at best, cruel.
For those who wish to really understand the nature of the Japanese occupational forces, I recommend the Rape of Nanking by Iris Chang.
James Bradley's Father was one of the men who raised the flag on IWO JIMA. He is profiled in the book and now movie "Flags of Our Fathers". This is Bradley's second book. It tells the stories of the men, and boys, who flew the war planes in the Pacific during WWII. There are things in this book that you were not taught in school about the War. It is well worth the time to read. It is a 5 Star book written by a 5 Star author.
Mass murder, rape, decapitation, cannibalism; this book had all the elements of a movie that I would be too squeamish to see. The background info was a bit heavy, but I couldn't put the book down when I got to the second half. This was a story that needed to be told and Bradley did a great job telling it.
I loved this book so much. I read it then put it on my bookshelf to share as it was so wonderful, then decided i had to have it again for a friend to read, so ordered it again and now that she has enjoyed it--here i have listed again as this was so good it needs to be shared,
An unforgettable true story of the atrocities committed during the war in the Pacific. Bradley exposes secrets that our government held for 60 years regarding the fate of 9 flyers shot down during the war with Japan.
This should be required reading for history classes. The sanitized version of history taught in schools today is doing our society much harm. This is not an easy read, but truthful and necessary to know how to move forward. He who is ignorant of history is doomed to relive it.
It is a fascinating read. In the first several chapters, Bradley gives a brief history of why Japan was/is so hateful towards the west--the US, in particular. However, I do have a few gripes:
1. The vivid description of brutality--ch. 5 can be skipped without miss much, just vivid descriptions of the Japanese brutality.
2. The occasional profanity
3. The Accounts are not from a Biblical/providential view of history
I thought I was very knowledgeable of WWII information, but this book blew that notion. The first part of this book sets up the story about the fates of several US airmen captured by the Japanese on a small unknown island during WWII. But then the writer goes back to 1850 and details the cultural journey that Japan made from an isolated island dominated by Shoguns and ancient morality that degenerated to the hate-filled imperialistic war-lord dominated Japan that emerged in the first part of the 20th century and culminated with the attack on the US at Pearl Harbor in 1941. The conduct of the Japanese in the wars with China and the US are detailed and informative. Also, as almost a sideline, the author describes the role of airpower in the early 20th century, from Billy Mitchell and his foresight on the future of airpower, to the importance of airpower in WWII's War in the Pacific, and the successes and losses of those young men flying the planes -- whom he refers to as "Flyboys." From a true story and the WWII subject matter, it is one of the best books I have ever read!!
It was interesting, because the author felt the need to give a detailed (well, multi-page) history of Japan from the 1860s,I'd say, relatively sympathetic to Japan's situation, probably to explain why there was so much brutality from the Western point of view.
Great read! Bradley weaves the true story of 8 US Flyboys whose lives ended on a small island off the coast of Japan. Bradley gives great insight into the complex & difficult decisions that are made during war and how individuals on both sides can get caught in circumstances over which they have little or no control. One cannot read this story and not come away with the words - war is hell!