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Flags of Our Fathers | [James Bradley, Ron Powers]

Flags of Our Fathers

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 raised a flag. Now the son of one of the flag raisers has written a powerful account of six very different men who came together in a moment that will live forever.
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Publisher's Summary

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 flag raisers has written a powerful account of six very different 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 70, 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 his 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.

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."

This program is read by Golden Globe-winning actor Barry Bostwick. Bostwick starred as the Mayor in the hit ABC comedy series Spin City.

©2000 James Bradley and Ron Powers; (P)2000 Random House, Inc., Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, A Division of Random House, Inc.; Original Jacket Photo ©AP/Wide World Photos

What the Critics Say

  • Nominee for Audio Publishers Association 2001 Audie Award, Nonfiction, Abridged
  • Alex Award Winner, 2001

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (177 )
5 star
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4.4 (15 )
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4.3 (15 )
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  •  
    Doug Washington, MI, USA 04-10-03
    Doug Washington, MI, USA 04-10-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Flags of Our Fathers"

    I could give this 10 stars. This is one of the best books I have ever read. I found the book fascinating. I am very interested in WWII stories. This is a true account of the famous photo of the six Marines who raised the flag on Iwo Jima. It is the story of the men, before, during and after the war. Who they were, why they joined the Marines, and what brought these six men together. This story provides insite how Americans thought about WWII and how important family members relied on each other.

    It also points out how critical it is to have unification as a team of fighting men and how the American spirit helped to win many battles during the war.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donald Dothan, AL, USA 10-14-03
    Donald Dothan, AL, USA 10-14-03 Member Since 2002
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    "Flags for our Fathers"

    This was one of the most inspiring book I have read in a long time. The majority of this country do not have the slightest idea what these brave Americans (Marines) went through. I would strongly recommend that each and every member of the House and Senate read this book. Maybe they would be constantly aware of what makes a young men and women want to put their lives on the line for their county and its freedom.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Dallas, TX, United States 12-03-03
    William Dallas, TX, United States 12-03-03

    Semi-retired ENT doctor who listens to books while making a 55 minute commute to work two days a week.

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    "Respect and honor"

    A good story and associated history of a dark time in WWII. The country was inspired by a picture that was casually made. The author shows much admiration for his father and the life he lead. He was a good role model for all time. Is reveals some of the realities of war in graphic manner. It is somewhat repetitive in spots and could use a bit of editing to make it smoother.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles East Lake, FL, USA 09-15-04
    Charles East Lake, FL, USA 09-15-04
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    "Flags of Our Fathers"

    Considering the writing style of Bradley, it is unbelievable that he is not more well know as a writer of non-ficton. The way he has taken old, almost forgoten documentation and has been able to weave these seperate facts into a story of horror, fear, pain, and heroism almost places the reader into the battle. Some of the realism, on many occasions, brought tears to my eyes. It also brings to light that the failure that we as American citizens have in not properly caring for our war heroes did not start with Iraq, the Gulf Wars, or even Vietnam. The heroes of Iwo Jima and the rest of WWII definatly were victims of our negligence. After hearing this narration of such a well written book, I can hardly wait for Bradley's latest book, "FLYBOYS" to be available on AUDIBLE.COM.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marv Lowell, MI, USA 10-14-07
    Marv Lowell, MI, USA 10-14-07 Member Since 2006
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    "a superb story"

    This is the story behind the marines who raised the American flag (in the famous photo) during the WWII battle for Iwo Jima. It details their backgrounds, helps us to get to know them a bit better and why they crossed paths during one of the worst battles of the war. It really put a human face on something I'd only read about in history books. It helped to really deepen my respect for the character of those who fought and died so that those of us now could live in freedom today. It also helped give me a better understanding of the depraved culture the Allies fought against and why it needed to be stopped. This a gripping, riveting listen, masterfully read and comes with my strong recommendation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Allen G. Creelman 11-15-08 Listener Since 2002
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    "amazing book"

    listened to it going to Ohio with my mom we where bothed amazed with the book and the story behind the flag raising.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peggy Lakeview, OR, USA 06-14-07
    Peggy Lakeview, OR, USA 06-14-07
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    "Not just for Men"

    I found this book to be more than just a re-creation of the hardship of war. It is a poignant human interest story that brings real people to life. It gives a realistic portrayal of men and women who coped with traumatic experiences in varied ways. It is a book that portrays the courage of the human spirit without superficial idealism. Both my husband and I enjoyed this book equally. There are characters in this book I will never forget.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    calvinyw NJ 07-31-05
    calvinyw NJ 07-31-05 Member Since 2005
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    "Heroism despite of human weaknesses"

    This is a book about ordinary people who accomplished extraordinary things, about the sacrifice they made, and their struggle to move on with all the painful memories.

    I was almost moved to tears when the audio book stopped. If there's anything above 5 starts, I would give it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah Laveen, AZ, United States 01-03-05
    Sarah Laveen, AZ, United States 01-03-05
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    "Great Book!"

    I am not a war buff, in fact I find my war histories boring, but this book was really interesting. It focuses on the personal histories of war heros, rather than just what they did in the war like most books do.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sojournalist 09-12-05 Member Since 2003
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    "Great book, subpar narrator"

    Weighing in on the book, like so many others, I thought it was great.

    However, CORPSMAN is pronounced like the CORPS in Marine Corps - the P and the S are silent. The narrator pronounces it inconsistently - wrong much of the time and occasionally, getting it right. Very jarring and frustrating. Cor-man. Cor-man. Cor-man. CorPS-man. Ack.

    Bradley was a CORPSMAN, an honorable and distinctive rate. Honor those men by pronouncing it correctly.


    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
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