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Flags of Our Fathers: Heroes of Iwo Jima Paperback – May 2003


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Product details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers; Rep Abr edition (May 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385730640
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385730648
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.4 x 20.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 283,960 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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First Sentence
In the spring of 1998 six boys called to me from half a century ago on a distant mountain, and I went there. Read the first page
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 4 Aug. 2004
Format: Library Binding
Seriously, five stars are just too few for a monumental book like this one. This book is an instant classic that should live for all time! If you are like me, you have a whole story built up in your mind around one of the most famous photographs in American history -- the raising of the flag on Iwo Jima. If you are also like me, there is little reality behind that story in your mind.
Written by the son of one flag-raising Marine, this amazing story should be read by everyone. It tells a tale of heroism, horrible circumstances, and the lasting consequences of an unexpected event in a compelling, unforgettable way. This book rivals All Quiet on the Western Front for its revealing insights into the nature of war, comradeship, and courage.
To set the stage, Iwo Jima was the first Japanese soil the Marines invaded. The Emperor had issued orders that the ground was to be defended to the last man. Iwo Jima was filled with tunnels that harbored over 20,000 Japanese troops who could shoot from relative safety while Americans were out in the open. The tunnel system was so extensive that Marines would literally be kidnapped while standing next to their buddies, and no one would know where they had gone. Rocks would suddenly open up to reveal mortars.
Tough fighting went on for days. The Marines lost 7,000 dead and had another 15,000 or more wounded out of 70,000 men. Ironically, the worst of the fighting came after the flag photograph, and three of the six Marines in the photograph died in this later action.
As tough as Iwo Jima was, living with the aftermath of the photograph was even harder in many ways. Two of the three survivors had their lives deeply affected in negative ways. The story of all three riveted me more than anything I have read in years.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 4 Aug. 2004
Format: School & Library Binding
Seriously, five stars are just too few for a monumental book like this one. This book is an instant classic that should live for all time! If you are like me, you have a whole story built up in your mind around one of the most famous photographs in American history -- the raising of the flag on Iwo Jima. If you are also like me, there is little reality behind that story in your mind.
Written by the son of one flag-raising Marine, this amazing story should be read by everyone. It tells a tale of heroism, horrible circumstances, and the lasting consequences of an unexpected event in a compelling, unforgettable way. This book rivals All Quiet on the Western Front for its revealing insights into the nature of war, comradeship, and courage.
To set the stage, Iwo Jima was the first Japanese soil the Marines invaded. The Emperor had issued orders that the ground was to be defended to the last man. Iwo Jima was filled with tunnels that harbored over 20,000 Japanese troops who could shoot from relative safety while Americans were out in the open. The tunnel system was so extensive that Marines would literally be kidnapped while standing next to their buddies, and no one would know where they had gone. Rocks would suddenly open up to reveal mortars.
Tough fighting went on for days. The Marines lost 7,000 dead and had another 15,000 or more wounded out of 70,000 men. Ironically, the worst of the fighting came after the flag photograph, and three of the six Marines in the photograph died in this later action.
As tough as Iwo Jima was, living with the aftermath of the photograph was even harder in many ways. Two of the three survivors had their lives deeply affected in negative ways. The story of all three riveted me more than anything I have read in years.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 863 reviews
201 of 208 people found the following review helpful
Haunting, Thought-Provoking, Graphic, Poignant 30 May 2000
By Theresa E. DaKay - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS is a brilliant work for so many reasons: it pays homage to the six men who raised the flag on Mount Suribachi on the island of Iwo Jima during WWII; 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 USMC 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 (indeed, boys) are moved to perform acts of uncommon valor and courage. When reading this book, you will feel pride, grief, anger, sadness, and dismay. Its words will make you laugh, cry, mourn, and think hard. FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS is a good book---no, a great book---about a moment in our history and the ordinary men who performed extraordinary deeds and left their mark upon the annals of war. Read it...for the sake of the six flagraisers, the families left behind in all wars, and the whole human race.
86 of 89 people found the following review helpful
This is a MUST-READ! 2 May 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
James Bradley's tale of the six boys who raised the Old Glory over the island of Iwo Jima (one of whom was his own dad) is a classic of war literature.
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!
82 of 85 people found the following review helpful
Bradley Removes Hero Worship And Leaves Us With... Heroes. 8 Aug. 2000
By Michael R. Schneider - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Born in 1974, I can hardly claim to have experienced the terror and patriotism that surrounded WWII. By all accounts, the picture of the flag raising on Mount Suribachi has always existed for me. In ever history book through school, the six men hoisting the American flag on a makeshift pole atop this sawed-off "mountain" was printed as the epitome of American valor. Little was mentioned about the people or the event that surrounded this monumental photograph. Now, thankfully, we 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.
60 of 62 people found the following review helpful
A Pulitzer Prize 30 Jun. 2000
By Bob Reece - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Stephen Ambrose said it himself on the back of this book, "The best battle book I ever read. These stories, from the time the six men who raised the flag at Iwo Jima enlisted, their training, and the landing and subsequent struggle, fill me with awe." This is a dramatic story of Iwo Jima; I absorbed every word of every page with intensity. It brought me to tears and, at times, made me laugh. I felt I was crawling with the Marines yard by yard as they moved across the small island under intense fire from the Japanese. The pictures James Bradley produce will stay in my mind for a long time, at least until I read the book again. I keep seeing his father, Doc, administering first aide to a wounded Marine. Knowing the wounded soldier could quickly bleed to death, Doc covered the soldier with his own body as he administered first aid while bullets exploded around him. Doc won the Navy Cross for this heroic action.
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.
46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
Six boys forever frozen in our nation's memory 2 May 2000
By Robert L. McMahon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
No, this isn't John Wayne and "Sands of Iwo Jima". This is a story of American youth and a time of American innocence.
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.
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