Susie's Reviews > Flyboys: A True Story of Courage

Flyboys by James D. Bradley
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's review
Jan 13, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: nonfiction
Read in January, 2008

James Bradley offers an amazing overview of the Pacific War and the impact America's commitment to an aerial war made upon its victory. I appreciate Bradley's ability to examine the war from both the America and Japanese perspective. He does not gloss over the American atrocities of strafing innocent fishermen, firebombing Japanese cities, and even dropping the atomic bombs. He does, however, also paint a clear picture of the Japanese world view, impressing upon his reader's the importance of understanding the Emperor-God/Spirit Warrior system in understanding the brutality of the Japanese army. Overall, Bradley portrays the morality-shifting power of war, where young men and women are able to participate in slaughter and killing they would find repulsive elsewhere, yet Bradley also still maintains an appreciation for the men and women who fight to protect freedom and privilege. I relate to Bradley's struggle in the book, knowing war is sometimes necessary in the continuation of life on earth, or if not necessary, certainly unpreventable, but the lack of humanity that accompanies war raises new and unanswerable moral questions for me as well. And that struggle is one I don't think we should ever stop feeling, as without it we will let war and its horror happen too easily, too quickly, and without real cause.
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