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Flags of Our Fathers

Flags of Our Fathers


Book Overview: Flags of Our Fathers

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - The perfect gift for Father's Day, this 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.

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Publication Date2006-08-29
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James Bradley is a celebrated American author who has etched his name into the annals of literature through his evocative story-telling and poignant narratives. Born in Wisconsin, Bradley's passion for historical events was ignited at an early age, becoming the cornerstone of his accomplished career as a writer. Notably, he has contributed extensively to the literary landscape through his culturally significant works, which have made him a darling to readers of historical non-fiction worldwide. Bradley's most acclaimed work, "Flags of Our Fathers," is a testament to his mastery of historical literature. This New York Times bestseller offers a riveting account of the six soldiers who raised the American flag during the battle of Iwo Jima. The story, which was personal to him as his father was one of the soldiers, was adapted into a film directed by Clint Eastwood, cementing Bradley's influence in the literary and cinematic world. His illustrious career is underpinned by an unwavering commitment to present unvarnished facts couched in deeply human narratives. Other critically acclaimed works by Bradley include "Flyboys: A True Story of Courage" and "The Imperial Cruise: A Secret History of Empire and War". His remarkable ability to delve into the complexities of history and generate meticulously researched narratives ensures that James Bradley is a stalwart in historical literature. His work continues to captivate audiences, making a lasting impact both nationally and globally.
American writer and critic Ron Powers is a celebrated literary figure, best known for his comprehensive grasp of narrative nonfiction, media criticism, and his soulful retelling of human stories. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri and subsequently won acclaim as an award-winning journalist and storyteller, beginning his illustrious career with jobs at various newspapers including the Decatur (Illinois) Herald. Powers’ distinct voice, his ability to uncover hidden facets of familiar realities, and his powerful narratives have set him apart in the literary world. Ron Powers’ exceptional talent as a writer garnered him the Pulitzer Prize in Criticism in 1973, marking him as the first television critic to ever receive the award. His flair for eloquent prose, combined with his expert knowledge of popular culture and media, established him as an influential critic both in print and broadcasting platforms. Beyond criticism, Powers has penned several non-fiction books like "No One Cares About Crazy People: My Family and the Heartbreak of Mental Illness in America," where he draws from personal experiences to shed light on the harsh realities of mental health, highlighting his storytelling abilities that allow readers to engage with complex subjects. Alongside his solo ventures, Powers co-authored two of the most memorable biographies in modern literature; "Flags of Our Fathers" and "True Compass," demonstrating his mastery of the biographical genre. Known not only for his profound understanding of the human condition but also for his empathic narrative style, Ron Powers continues to inspire upcoming writers and critics with his poignant narratives and profound societal insights.

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