Book Review of Flags of Our Fathers

Flags of Our Fathers
Flags of Our Fathers
Author: James Bradley, Ron Powers
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
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Helpful Score: 2

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.