Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Flags of Our Fathers” as Want to Read:
Flags of Our Fathers
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Flags of Our Fathers

4.19  ·  Rating Details ·  35,610 Ratings  ·  1,324 Reviews
This New York Times bestseller, now adapted for young readers, is the unforgettable chronicle of perhaps the most famous moment in American history: the raising of the U.S. flag by Marines at Iwo Jima during World War II. 8-page photo insert. Maps.
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published May 1st 2003 by Perfection Learning (first published May 2nd 2000)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Flags of Our Fathers, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Pete Your point is valid with regards to heroism, but it is still important that events that have a historical importance be represented as factually…moreYour point is valid with regards to heroism, but it is still important that events that have a historical importance be represented as factually accurate as possible. The Smithsonian is currently conducting an investigation on behalf of the Marine Corp into the famous image of the replacement flag raising. More information on why this is occurring can be found here....
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
I read the book before the movie. The movie, directed by Clint Eastwood is almost entirely dedicated to the book's last chapters where the author describes the after-war lives of the heroes - and yes, despite what Bradley and Eastwood believe, these men ARE heroes regardless of the father Bradley's protests.

After describing the battle and events of the flag raising on Mount Suribachi, the author describes how the men's lives turned sour as the US War Machine exploited them for the 7th War Bond D
Jason Koivu
Nov 11, 2013 Jason Koivu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On Veteran's Day and other such days when the mind wanders over the ultimate sacrifice made by brave men and women during our world's troubled times, for Americans there are few images more iconic than the picture of the flag raising on Iwo Jima during WWII.

Flags of Our Fathers was penned by James Bradley, the son of one of the men in that picture. This story is about that experience, what led up to it and what came after. It is more engaging and less depressing than expected. Certainly it is n
Feb 06, 2008 Adrienne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Flags of Our Fathers tells the amazing true story of Iwo Jima and The Photograph, by creating a fairly complete picture of the six boys/men in the photo. It recounts basic ideas of their childhoods and their training as Marines, the battle itself, and the lives of those who survived (including Bradley's father) after the war.

These men, who wanted nothing else but to be left alone, were thrust into the spotlight because of a lucky picture at a not-so-heroic moment in time. The picture became a s
Aug 27, 2007 Leah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
I don't often read historical nonfiction, but this book was superb; I was very moved by the countless acts of sacrifice made by the men who fought at Iwo Jima.

This is a riveting narrative about the six young American flag raisers in the famed picture. Author James Bradley is the son of corpsman John Bradley (one of the men in the photo) and it was only after his father's death when he began to piece together culminating events, as his father never talked about the war but for: "The heroes of Iwo
Aug 08, 2008 Trisha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a good book, the intent of the author was good, but I didn't like so many personal comments from him. I don't care that he stared at the picture that this book is based around for hours at a time in a daze, or any other comments he made like that. I think that the fact that he added those into the book took away from honoring those he was writing about. It seemed selfish and cocky of him. His personal comments seemed more like a tribute to himself and his intellect than to those who fou ...more
Andrew Backs
5Q 2P A/YA

James Bradley's book is a masterpiece of historical writing that will not wear down readers with heavy language or intimidate with hundreds of pages. This is a biography written about the five men who raised the United States flag on Mount Suribachi on the Japanese island of Iwo Jima during the second World War. Bradley's father along with two other men Ira Hayes and Rene Gagnon survived the attack on the island and were sent home on orders from the United States government after a pho
Michael Gerald
Mar 23, 2013 Michael Gerald rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

A noble virtue that has sometimes been bastardized.

By people who engage in reckless abandon.

By jerks who just long for publicity.

By showbiz scum who wash their dirty linen in public.(The latest local one with the initials "K.A.")

But there was a time when REAL courage meant facing bullets, bombs, and staring death in the face, not for personal glory or just for the kick of it, but for freedom, liberty, and justice. And saving other people's lives.

The Allied men and women (Filipinos incl
Newport Librarians
WOW! And I don't even like non-fiction!

This story chronicles first the lives of the six men raising their flag on Iwo Jima, the American climate during war time and why they enlisted. Readers are then taken inch by pain staking inch up the beach of "fire island" through gun fire, death, fear, hunger, sleep deprivation and more. Slowly trodding up the hill where we experience a seemingly unremarkable flag replacement that became a photograph which to this day "iconicizes" the valor, determination
Courtney Burns
Jun 21, 2012 Courtney Burns rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unfinished

Book begins with the author detailing a trip Iwo Jima with family member where he took great delight in being photographed peeing off the side of the mountain monument dedicated to the battle that took place there. That is right this man by special permission was invited to the Japanese island of Iwo Jima and onto the Japanese military base and stood on a monument dedicated to the thousands of men who fought and died there and decided it would be awesome if he peed on all of it. I don
Full disclosure - I wasn't able to finish this book, so if you're one of those people who says you can't judge it til you finish, you don't need to read this. I, however, don't need to get to the end to know I just hated this book, and am writing a review to warn others and remind myself why I didn't finish it. I read a good amount of history stuff in this vein. Not a huge amount, but a lot more than the average American I think, and this is the only one I have come across so far that felt explo ...more
Gary Hoggatt
Flags of Our Fathers chronicles the stories of the six men, five U.S. Marines and one Navy Corpsman, who raised the flag at Iwo Jima in the iconic photograph from World War II. This has gotten a lot of public attention in recent years, thanks to Clint Eastwood's film adaptation of this book (I'll admit I saw the movie first and liked it, so much so I went and borrowed the audio book from the library).

Author James Bradley, the son of John Bradley, the Navy Corpsman in the photo, knew little about
A.L. Sowards
This wasn't a happy book, but I'm glad I read it. The author follows the lives of the five Marines and one Navy corpsman who raise the second American flag on Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima. I've always loved the Rosenthal photo, and the Marine Memorial based on the photo is my favorite in the DC area. Here are a few of my thoughts on the book:

I thought the first part of the book, covering the characters' childhoods, training, and the fight to take hell--I mean Iwo Jima--was better than the second
Abby Chase
Jun 11, 2013 Abby Chase rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Flags Of Our Fathers is a great read for anyone who is interested in U.S. history. The author, James Bradley, takes the reader through the lives of the 6 soldiers who raised the American flag on Iwo Jima. He lets the reader in on the lives of Harlon Block, Mike Strank, Franklin Sousley, Ira Hayes, Rene Gagnon, and his father Jack “Doc” Bradley. The fantastic thing about this book is that the author shares the stories of these men, from when they were boys to their fates in the end, and he does i ...more
Easily one of the most moving and memorable books I have ever read. I know that I've said that I don't get emotional over the books that I read, but Flags of Our Fathers is a definite exception. The author has a personal connection to the subject, and his own emotion over the true story of his father comes through wonderfully. It's as much about history as it is about family.

On a sour note, do not ever watch the movie. EVER! It's as awful as the book is wonderful.
Ann Valdez
Jul 19, 2015 Ann Valdez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is such a great book. It gives the background of not only the people from one of the most famous American photographs, but also of situations surrounding it.
I loved this book and am so thankful that I read it. I recommend it to all.
Christopher Hicks
I really enjoyed this book. I found it both compelling and tragic. I liked learning about a part of history i'd never before read about, the war in the Pacific, Iwo Jima and World War II. I also loved reading about the personal stories of the men and their families.
Michael Mondus
Book Review of The Flags of Our Fathers by James Bradley
In The Flags of Our Fathers, James Bradley tells the story of the six men who raised the American flag on top of Iwo Jima. The men were Ira Hayes, Frank Sousley, John Bradley, Harlon Block, Michael Strank, and Rene Gagnon. One of the men who raised the flag, John Bradley, his father, and the other five men are revealed to us in the story. Once the men come back to the United States, some don’t want the attention because they believe they we
Stacie C
Sep 10, 2016 Stacie C rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was convinced I knew what I wanted to write when I sat down to begin this review. I was going to mention how everyone can recognize the photo used on the cover of this book. That it’s an example of patriotism and a symbol of World War II. It represents the integrity of the men fighting on the small island of Iwo Jima and an ode to those who lost their lives. But it’s so much more than that. That image was used as propaganda to extract more bonds from Americans in the war effort. The image was ...more
Daniel W.
Sep 17, 2016 Daniel W. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: military enthusiasts
We often read how bloody the island hopping campaign was for the Navy, Marine Corp, and those Army units that fought in the Pacific during WWII. James Bradley gives us a grunts-eye view of the battle of Iwo Jima. The devastating affect of war was demonstrated in undeniable violence. From this crucible came the idea to boost American morale, drive sales for war bonds and give the American people something tangible to believe in. The raising of the flag on Iwo Jima became the symbol of the Marine ...more
Feb 02, 2016 Doughgirl5562 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 19t view themselves as heroes, but were just 1Cdoing what had to be done 1D 13 whether that meant charging up the beach at Iwo Jima through a hail of machine gun fire or helping to raise a pole that 1Cjust happened to have a flag attached to it 1D. The story 13 and their lives 13 can be vi ...more
Aug 18, 2015 Shelley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read many books about WWII, but this one tells the history in a very engaging way, through the stories of the men who were a part of the famous Iwo Jima flag raising picture that captured the hearts of Americans. The author is the son of one of those men, and the connection that he feels towards this part of history, and of his father's life, is clear throughout. In addition to reading the glory, heart-wrenching details of the battle on Iwo Jima (which is honestly quite difficult to read ...more
Oct 31, 2010 Joe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Whoa. This was amazing.
As you probably know, this is the compelling story of the six men who raised the (second) flag on Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima that was immortalized in the famous Rosenthal photo. Bradley profiles the lives of these six men before theit military service, their experience on Iwo Jima and their lives afterward.
The men were so very different from each other that they only held their ordinariness in common. Six would raise the flag, only three would leave the island, and only o
Cameron Riley
Jan 30, 2012 Cameron Riley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Flags of Our Fathers by James Bradley is a book about Iwo Jima during WWII. the book tells the tale of six people who raised a flag on top of MT. Sarabachi during the conflicts. i really enjoyed reading this book. it is a Historical Narrative and tells about the six men from basic training to combat.

The six soldiers that were involved in the flag raising were Jack Bradley, Harlon Block, Rene Gagnon, Ira Hayes, Mike Strank, and Franklin Sousley. the book basically helps to give a sense of who the
Amanda Ainge
Sep 27, 2010 Amanda Ainge rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
This book was amazing. I loved it, from page one all the way to the end. I'm not a huge non-fiction reader, mostly because it is usually so dry I end up falling asleep, but that was definitely not the case with this book.

It was picked as a book club selection and I was actually really excited to read it. I LOVE history, but I'm lazy about reading it on my own. I'd rather sit in a classroom and hear the stories. They just come to life for me so much more that way. This book was really well writt
Adirtwolf Wolfer
Over my perspective on this book was about the same in dislike and likes. The book kind of dragged on until the end where then got more interesting. I think that the book needed to include more sense where they were fighting through. Most of it was talking about his flashbacks of struggles and hard times witch is ok but it was a little bit confusing. The book covers the point of view from the six men that raised the flag in the battle of iwo jima. They all talk about what they specifically go th ...more
Beth Cato
Apr 10, 2012 Beth Cato rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in, history, 2009
I've wanted to read this book since I read an excerpt from it in Reader's Digest ages ago, and I saw the two Clint Eastwood-directed movies on Iwo Jima last year.[return][return]It was an intriguing read, starting slow with the backgrounds of the flag raisers and then become downright intense during the battle scenes. Wow. I'm guessing the battle descriptions were written by Mr. Powers, and I must say they were astounding. Horryifying, yet astounding. The six men who raised the second flag are d ...more
Aug 25, 2010 Lesley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
I feel slightly embarassed that nearly every piece of information presented in this book was completely new to me. I was surprised by the horror of the Pacific war and horrified by the clear truth that I (along with most Americans I suspect)know next to nothing about the history of our own country. This compounded by the fact that our media has a tendancy to report the "good story" instead of the "truth."

That's really what this book is about - it isn't a war story about relaying all the gritty d
Nov 18, 2014 Ryan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Flags of our Father is by James Bradley. I thought it was good but not great because it is sometimes just a bunch of facts. the main characters of the story are the Flagraisers of Iwo Jima and there is some suspense like when they are fighting through enemy bunkers under a volcano. It talks about their long trip from home to the boat to the landing craft to the island. The book is nonfiction and the genera is history and i liked it because it was informational, a little too informational, i like ...more
Alex Williams
Flags of Our Fathers was a great book. By James Bradley, the son of one of the flagraisers who raised the American flag over Mt. Suribachi on Iwo Jima, it covers Iwo Jima. One of the special things about this books was that the author gave a unique insight into the lives of the flagraisers before the battle happened, including their life in the military before the terrible battle in the Pacific. This is the least biography-like biography that I have read. Another one of the major selling points ...more
Jan 18, 2011 Codys rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I chose to read this book because I love war and everthing about it I love guns beign out doors and fighting for something, so you have something to live for. HISTORICK. Bradley had been in war for 6mouths in iwo jima and he got back had kids and lived life but he never told his kids that he fout in battle and they never knew till Bradley died and they found all his war stuff in his closet . Bradley was A trust worthy man in those days and he was a medaic in war. His kids finaly find out his rea ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • One Square Mile of Hell: The Battle for Tarawa
  • The Wild Blue: The Men and Boys Who Flew the B-24s Over Germany 1944-45
  • Goodbye, Darkness: A Memoir of the Pacific War
  • Brotherhood of Heroes: The Marines at Peleliu, 1944--The Bloodiest Battle of the Pacific War
  • Brothers In Battle, Best of Friends
  • We Were Soldiers Once... and Young: Ia Drang - The Battle that Changed the War in Vietnam
  • The Longest Day
  • Okinawa: The Last Battle of World War II
  • The Longest Winter: The Battle of the Bulge and the Epic Story of World War II's Most Decorated Platoon
  • The Pacific
  • The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors: The Extraordinary World War II Story of the U.S. Navy's Finest Hour
  • With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa
  • Parachute Infantry: An American Paratrooper's Memoir of D-Day and the Fall of the Third Reich
  • Utmost Savagery: The Three Days of Tarawa
  • Ghost Soldiers: The Epic Account of World War II's Greatest Rescue Mission
  • Call of Duty: My Life Before, During and After the Band of Brothers
  • Guadalcanal Diary
  • Miracle at Midway
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

James Bradley is an American author of historical non-fiction. His subject is the Pacific theatre of World War II.
More about James D. Bradley...

Share This Book

“Today the word "hero" has been diminished. confused with "celebrity." But in my father's generation the word meant something.
celebrities seek fame. They take actions to get attention. Most often, the actions they take have no particular moral content. Heroes are heroes because they have risked something to help others. Their actions involve courage. Often, those heroes have been indifferent to the public's attention. But at least, the hero could understand the focus of the emotion.”
“When I asked him, fifty-three years after the event, "Mr. Lucas, why did you jump on those grenades?" he did not hesitate with his answer: "To save my buddies.” 8 likes
More quotes…