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Flyboys: A True Story of Courage Hardcover – September 1, 2003

4.7 out of 5 stars 1,262 ratings

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Hardcover, September 30, 2003
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The author of Flags of Our Fathers achieves considerable but not equal success in this new Pacific War-themed history. Again he approaches the conflict focused on a small group of men: nine American Navy and Marine aviators who were shot down off the Japanese-held island of Chichi Jima in February 1945. All of them were eventually executed by the Japanese; several of the guilty parties were tried and condemned as war criminals. When the book keeps its eye on the aviators-growing up under a variety of conditions before the war, entering service, serving as the U. S. Navy's spearhead aboard the fast carriers, or facing captivity and death-it is as compelling as its predecessor. However, a chapter on prewar aviation is an uncritical panegyric to WWI aerial bombing advocate Billy Mitchell, who was eventually court-martialed for criticizing armed forces brass. More problematic is that Bradley tries to encompass not only the whole history of the Pacific War, but the whole history of the cultures of the two opposing countries that led to the racial attitudes which both sides brought to the war. Those attitudes, Bradley argues, played a large role in the brutal training of the Japanese army, which led to atrocities that in turn sharpened already keen American hostility. Some readers' hackles will rise at the discussion of the guilt of both sides, but, despite some missteps, Bradley attempts to strike an informed balance with the perspective of more than half a century.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Bradley's phenomenal best-seller, Flags of Our Fathers (2000), was rejected by about 20 publishing houses before Bantam took a chance. His new publisher is not leaving the popularity of the encore to chance, launching it with an intense promotional campaign. Structured similarly to Flags, which concerned the flag-raisers of Iwo Jima, this work reconstructs the lives of several young men at war. Eight pilots and airmen were shot down by the Japanese military at Chichi Jima in 1944-45, George H. W. Bush among them. A well-known part of his political biography, Bush's story of escape is recounted somberly (Bush's crewmates died). The fates of the others shot down, who were captured, Bradley gathered in part from a source that was secret until a few years ago: records of a war-crimes trial of Japanese officers in command at Chichi Jima. Bradley sensitively builds the trial's unpleasant evidence (concealed, presumably, to spare pain to the airmen's relatives) into the narrative, which he frames with a portrayal of the Japanese military mind-set, which condoned the commission of atrocities. There are many brutally graphic passages about the torture and slaying of the American prisoners, which may prove too daunting for some readers, but Bradley succeeds in restoring dignity to the American airmen. Sure to command a large audience. Gilbert Taylor
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Little, Brown and Company; 1st edition (September 1, 2003)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 398 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0316105848
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0316105842
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.07 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.38 x 1.38 x 9.63 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 1,262 ratings

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
1,262 global ratings
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Atrocities Conmited in WW2 in the Pacific!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 18, 2019
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Nicola C
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 1, 2020
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MICHAEL JAY
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 12, 2020
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C. Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 25, 2017
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Calamity Marcy
5.0 out of 5 stars As Such are the Fortunes of War
Reviewed in Canada on December 29, 2018
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