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Flags of Our Fathers Hardcover – May 2, 2000
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One of those young Americans was John Bradley, a Navy corpsman who a few days before had braved enemy mortar and machine-gun fire to administer first aid to a wounded Marine and then drag him to safety. For this act of heroism Bradley would receive the Navy Cross, an award second only to the Medal of Honor.
Bradley, who died in 1994, never mentioned his feat to his family. Only after his death did Bradley's son James begin to piece together the facts of his father's heroism, which was but one of countless acts of sacrifice made by the young men who fought at Iwo Jima. Flags of Our Fathers recounts the sometimes tragic life stories of the six men who raised the flag that February day--one an Arizona Indian who would die following an alcohol-soaked brawl, another a Kentucky hillbilly, still another a Pennsylvania steel-mill worker--and who became reluctant heroes in the bargain. A strongly felt and well-written entry in a spate of recent books on World War II, Flags gives a you-are-there depiction of that conflict's horrible arenas--and a moving homage to the men whom fate brought there. --Gregory McNamee
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
It is a father-son story. It is a war story. It is a story of patriotism and sacrifice. But ultimately it is the story about how ordinary people can rise to extraordinary heights in fantastically dangerous situations.
Inspired and inspirational, this book is must-reading for anyone even remotely interested in World War II, and in the sacrifices that certain Americans made in order to win it.
This Memorial Day, buy a copy for everyone you know!
This book is an absolute must-read. At once a biography of each of these six brave men, a history book, a war novel, and a tale of struggle, this book should find its way onto the bookshelf of every American. The lives of these men before, during, and after the battle of Iwo Jima is enough to fill you with great sadness and immense patriotic pride simultaneously.
This book is as relevant today as it could have been had it been published 55 years ago. While it is quite usual to hear words like honor, courage, and commitment strewn about by talking heads that pervade our society and media, it is rare to see these demonstrated by actual human beings. The stories of these men will show that that even under great strain the human spirit can thrive, and that occaisionally our heroes can be taken at face value.
However, as Bradley points out, these men were not heroes for raising that flag on Mount Suribachi. They, like every other American boy who set foot on foreign soil for God and country half a century ago, were heroes for the simple act of being there and doing the best they could.
Buy this book.
The book doesn't just cover the fighting on the island, but follows the survivors of the six flagraisers back to the states. Their heroic welcome home involved them as part of a push to sell war bonds. James Bradley finally brings to end myths of the raising of the flag, e.g. that it was staged and that it was at the end of the fight for Iwo Jima.
From the very beginning of the book I was thankful for his father and the others that fought for our freedom on that small island in the Pacific. I wish I could thank all the veterans for their sacrifises made on Iwo Jima. Since I can't, I can thank James Bradley for bringing the story of his father and the other five flagraisers into my life. You'll be thankful, too. Bradley should receive a Pulitzer Prize for this incredible book.
Who were these six young, skinny kids in this photograph? A photograph that has become an icon of our times. Three of them would never know what impact this photo and their actions had on a country. Three others would know only too well.
I sincerely thank James Bradley for taking on this very personal and very emotional subject. His father, PM2C John Bradley, USN must have been made of greater stuff than most folks. His son's book is one of the most fitting tributes to a father's memory I could ever imagine.
My most heartfelt best wishes go out to James, his mother and all the Bradley's.