Flags of Our Fathers
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Flags of Our Fathers

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  23,383 ratings  ·  1,095 reviews
James Bradley did extensive research on his father and the other five men who marched up the side of Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima during World War II and raised the American flag--a moment captured in one of America's most famous photos. Now, Bradley presents a gripping portrait of those men.
Audio Cassette, Abridged, 0 pages
Published May 2nd 2000 by Random House Audio
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sean
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...more
Jason Koivu
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...more
Adrienne
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...more
Trisha
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
Leah
Aug 27, 2007 Leah rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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...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...more
David
Like most people, I had no idea what the real context was for the famous photograph of soldiers raising the US flag at Iwo Jima. Nor did I understand the military significance of that campaign, or the cost in lives it required (over 8000 US soldiers killed and almost 20,000 wounded; and over 20,000 Japanese killed). This book is presented as the story of the 6 men who appear in the photo. The first section gives their backgrounds and life stories, and dragged a bit, but made the rest much more p...more
Michael Gerald Dealino
Courage

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...more
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...more
Abby Chase
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
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...more
Jack
Where to start. I have never read a book like this one. I found the author's mixture of Marine personalities along with the history of the Iwo Jima campaign fascinating. I also admire the author for writing so well about his father and especially the Marines involved with raising the flag on Suribachi. The author does a superb job bringing the home front financial campaign, the Pacific campaign, and the lives of the young Marines and Navy personnel into a fascinating story of one of the bloodies...more
Matt
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.
Courtney Burns
Unreadable:

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...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...more
Beth Cato
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
Cameron Riley
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...more
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
Amanda Ainge
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...more
Joe
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...more
Abhishek Bhaumick
A surprisingly unbiased and level headed piece pertaining to the lives of the marines involved in the pacific campaign with a focus on the men we know as the flagraisers.
The book excels by covering the lives of these men who inspired generations before, during and after the events on Iwo Jima and thus helping the readers establish a connection with each of them at a human level.
Is also an excellent piece on the horrors of war and it's long term effects on the survivors and the families that lose...more
Codys
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
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
Cody Daley
This book was a very good book. It takes you into the lives of the five young and brave men who raised the flag on the island of Iwo Jima. It also takes you deep into the heated battle and describes the hell the soldiers went through to capture the island. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a good read but especially someone who likes war history. The author (James Bradley) did extremely well in describing the events and setting of the island. The book was the kind that you just h...more
Nick
This book tells the story behind the six flag raisers at Iwo Jima. It follows each character as the grew up, their military training, and their part in Joe Rosenthal's photo of the raising the flag. It also follows the soldiers after the event, including the three that died on the island.
The story follows the five marines and a navy corpsman. John Bradley, Rene Gagnon, Ira Hayes, Mike Strank, Harlon Block, and Franklin Sousley; the last three dying at Iwo Jima. The book also tells about the s...more
Rebecca Valenzuela
Flags Of Our Fathers by James Bradley is an inspirational book about a boy's life long quest to know about the 6 boys in the infamous flag-raising photo on Iwo Jima, this book delves into the lives of the 6 mysterious figures' lives before, during, and after the war. This awe-inspiring tale gives new meaning to the word hero and new perspective to a time-less photograph. At first i picked up this book dreading to read it as an assignment for my English class but after reading the first the few p...more
Linda Dexheimer
Linda Dexheimer
Informational

This book was adapted from it's original version for young adults. The book is written about the flag raising at Iwo Jima and the 6 men that raised the flag. The author, James Bradley, is the son of one of the men. He researched the lives of the 6 men and describes the events leading up to the raising of the flag and the days after. Interesting read and perspectives. It seemed well-researched and is told in a narrative that's easy to read.
Bbennis
I gave this five stars not because I couldn't put it down. . . .in fact, it took a little while to get into. . .but because of how it affected me. I was struck by the absolute selfless bravery of our marines and conversely by the ruthless brutality bred into the Japanese soldiers by their leaders. In a single month of fighting 47,000 lives were lost. . . 26,000 Americans and 21,000 Japanese. . . over an island eight miles in diameter.
Andie
I decided to read this book as part of my curiosity towards the Pacific War. For a long time the war on the Pacific was a mystery for me, because let's accept it, most of the information is more detailed towards the War in Europe..

I really liked the book.I must admit that by the nearly end I was getting quite annoyed by so many details the actor gave about his life and his trips et all... I don't mean to disrespect, but I was more interested about the other characters in the book than the narra...more
Michael
Excellent! An excellent well researched and pleasing read. It was interesting how America portrayed the six flag raisers, and how the surviving members portrayed themselves. The whole book spoke volumes on how Marines look upon each other, and those that are assigned to "patch them up" until they can get proper medical attention, or return to their "brothers" and continue the fight.
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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...
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“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.” 6 likes
“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.”
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