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Flags of Our Fathers

Bradley, James, and Powers, Ron

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ISBN 10: 0553111337 / ISBN 13: 9780553111330
Published by Bantam Books, New York, 2000
Condition: Very good Hardcover
From Ground Zero Books, Ltd. (Silver Spring, MD, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

[8], 376 pages. Illustrated endpapers. Illustrations. Maps. Notes. Bibliography. Index. Signed by the author (James Bradley) on half-title page. DJ has Autographed Copy sticker on front. James Bradley (born 1954) is an American author, specializing in historical nonfiction chronicling the Pacific theater of World War II. His father, John Bradley, was long thought to be one of the six men who was in the photograph raising the American flag on Mt. Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945. That photograph has gone on to be one of the most duplicated and reproduced photos ever taken. On June 23, 2016, the Marine Corps announced after an investigation, that John Bradley was not in Rosenthal's photograph of six Marines raising the second (and larger) flag on Mount Suribachi on February 23, 1945, although he had been involved in the first raising of a smaller flag hours before. 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. In 2000, Bradley published Flags of Our Fathers, written with the author Ron Powers, which tells the story of five U.S. Marines and a United States Navy corpsman attached to the Marines Corps (his father, John Bradley who did not raise the second larger flag), raising the American flag during the Battle of Iwo Jima and the Seventh War Loan Drive after the battle. In that book, which spent 46 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and was made into a film directed by Clint Eastwood, Bradley took great care to locate and speak with family and friends who actually knew the men depicted. In doing this, he received praise for his realistic portrayals and bringing the men involved to life. The book and the film is an in-depth look at those involved and their war-time service. Of the six men who raised the second and larger replacement flag on Mount Suribachi on February 23, 1945, PhM2c. John Bradley, although he had been involved only in the first raising of a smaller flag hours before, was not involved in the second flag raising, Pfc. Ira Hayes, and Pfc. Rene Gagnon were the only survivors of the battle. Sgt. Michael Strank, Cpl. Harlon Block, and Pfc. Franklin Sousley were killed in action later on in the battle. The book and film tell the story in a before, during, and after format, and both were well received upon their release. An impromptu speech Bradley, who did not raise the flag, gave at the Marine Corps War Memorial (sometimes called the Iwo Jima memorial) was transcribed by Michael T. Powers in October 2000, and widely circulated on the Internet. On June 23, 2016, the United States Marine Corps identified Cpl. Harold Schultz as the sixth flag raiser for the second flag. Bookseller Inventory # 73402

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Flags of Our Fathers

Publisher: Bantam Books, New York

Publication Date: 2000

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Very good

Dust Jacket Condition: Very good

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: First Printing [Stated].

About this title

Synopsis:

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER · This is the true story behind the immortal photograph that has come to symbolize the courage and indomitable will of America

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 America.

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.

Review:

The Battle of Iwo Jima, fought in the winter of 1945 on a rocky island south of Japan, brought a ferocious slice of hell to earth: in a month's time, more than 22,000 Japanese soldiers would die defending a patch of ground a third the size of Manhattan, while nearly 26,000 Americans fell taking it from them. The battle was a turning point in the war in the Pacific, and it produced one of World War II's enduring images: a photograph of six soldiers raising an American flag on the flank of Mount Suribachi, the island's commanding high point.

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

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