Flags of Our Fathers Author:James Bradley, Ron Powers In this unforgettable chronicle of perhaps the most famous moment in American military history, James Bradley has captured the glory, the triumph, the heartbreak, and the legacy of the six men who raised the flag at Iwo Jima. Here is the true story behind the immortal photograph that has come to symbolize the courage and indomitable will of Amer... more »ica.
In February 1945, American Marines plunged into the surf at Iwo Jima--and into history. Through a hail of machine-gun and mortar fire that left the beaches strewn with comrades, they battled to the island's highest peak. And after climbing through a landscape of hell itself, they raised a flag.
Now the son of one of the flagraisers has written a powerful account of six very different young men who came together in a moment that will live forever.
To his family, John Bradley never spoke of the photograph or the war. But after his death at age seventy, his family discovered closed boxes of letters and photos. In Flags of Our Fathers, James Bradley draws on those documents to retrace the lives of his father and the men of Easy Company. Following these men's paths to Iwo Jima, James Bradley has written a classic story of the heroic battle for the Pacific's most crucial island--an island riddled with Japanese tunnels and 22,000 fanatic defenders who would fight to the last man.
But perhaps the most interesting part of the story is what happened after the victory. The men in the photo--three were killed during the battle--were proclaimed heroes and flown home, to become reluctant symbols. For two of them, the adulation was shattering. Only James Bradley's father truly survived, displaying no copy of the famous photograph in his home, telling his son only: "The real heroes of Iwo Jima were the guys who didn't come back."
Few books ever have captured the complexity and furor of war and its aftermath as well as Flags of Our Fathers. A penetrating, epic look at a generation at war, this is history told with keen insight, enormous honesty, and the passion of a son paying homage to his father. It is the story of the difference between truth and myth, the meaning of being a hero, and the essence of the human experience of war.
This is an amazingly written book. It reads like a fast-paced movie. If you have seen the movie, it is nothing compared to the book! I highly recommend this book, even if you do not like militaria-type books.
"Flags of Our Fathers" is an excellent novel for various reasons: it pays homage to the six men who raised the flag on Mount Suribachi on the island of Iwo Jima during World War II; it is a tribute to a father who felt strongly that the real heroes at Iwo were the boys who didn't come back; it is a testimonial to the United States Marine Corpse and its fighting men; it portrays a graphic and at times unimaginable description of the horrors of war; and, it depicts not only the indignities that we humans can suffer upon one another, but also the moments when common men are moved to perform uncommon acts of valor and courage. This is one of the most inspiring books that you will ever read. I highly recommended it.
Flags of Our Fathers tells the story of Jack Bradley and the five other men who were pictured raising the American flag on the top of Mt. Suribachi on Iwo Jima in the iconic picture from WWII. Six men who didn't view themselves as heroes, but were just 'doing what had to be done' whether that meant charging up the beach at Iwo Jima through a hail of machine gun fire or helping to raise a pole that just happened to have a flag attached to it. The story and their lives can be viewed in three parts. Before the war, during the war, and (for some of them) after the war. This book is co-written by James Bradley, who is Jack Bradleys son, and who I thought did a wonderful job fleshing out the lives of the real men who were in that photo. I listened to the audio version of the book, which is also narrated well by James Bradley.
Before reading this book I had numerous misconceptions about the famous flag raising at Iwo Jima and the battle that took place on that island. Probably my biggest misconception was that the battle for Iwo Jima was over when that flag was planted on Mt. Suribachi. It wasnt. It would go on for another month. And I had also believed that D-Day at Normandy was the worst day of WWII. But as bad as that was, the first few days of Iwo Jima were worse. And I learned much more as I read this book, but Ill leave future readers to discover the rest for themselves.
While not quite as graphic as other war-based novels and memoirs that I have read, the author certainly didnt shy away from describing the horrors of war in all of their details. (For some reason, Amazon.com has this book tagged a young-adult a tag that I definitely believe does NOT apply.) But please dont let that stop you from reading this book. Ill admit that there were times I found it difficult to listen to what was happening to these six men and their fellow Marines during WWII, but for the most part it is fascinating and, more importantly, I now feel that I know these men so much better and I know at least a little bit more about WWII. I am so glad that James Bradley wrote this book and I picked it out of my TBR pile.
This well written story of the horrendous battle of Iwo Jima and the raising of the flag on that tiny island during the final stages of WWII is a none too gentle reminder of the atrocities of war. The lives of the six men who put the Stars and Strips atop this hunk of rock were well researched and intricately woven into the story and aftermath of the battle by the son of the medic, James Bradley and his co-author, Ron Powers.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the history of war and/or the history of this great country.
I don't normally read history books and almost never read books about war, but this one was recommended and I decided to try it. It was a terrific read. It made me understand a little about what our military went through during extrememly difficult times. But even more it gave you insight into the lives and developement of the young men involved and the families that loved them. A great book for those who love our country and respect our servicemen.
Really grabs you and makes you pay attention. I thought it was rather graphic and terrifying...although I read it WHILE my husband was a corpsman fighting in Iraq. If you have a loved one overseas, save this for when they get back. It makes everything even more terrifying.
After your loved one is safe, I highly recommend reading this book. It almost offers you a "field-trip" into their life for however long they were over there. It gives you a good basis to understand why they come back "different" and helps you to keep your patience when it's the hardest thing imaginable.
It also gives you hope that they will "adjust" and be mostly back to normal eventually.
I've read this book and it is interesting. However, as late as 2019 the Marine Corps announced a change in the names of one of the Marines who raised the "second Flag." And, in 2016, the Marine Corps also announced that Navy Medic James Bradley, while present at the second flag raising, was not one of the men who raised it.
Thanks for the most recent change go to three amateur historians who analyzed the image. Apparently, due to forensic evidence, the Marine Corps feels confident all six men who actually raised the flag are now positively identified.
For details, see the Wikipedia page "Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima."