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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.; 16 9

Critic Reviews

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
  • Doug
  • Washington, MI, USA
  • 04-10-03

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

  • Overall
  • Donald
  • Dothan, AL, USA
  • 10-14-03

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

  • Overall

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

  • Overall
  • Charles
  • East Lake, FL, USA
  • 09-15-04

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

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Sinfully mispronounces a critical word throughout

My Uncle Jack Simms was a corpsman on Iwo Jima. This story is a spectacular telling of a major Pacific Theatre battle of WWII.

What makes this difficult to listen to is the continuous mispronunciation of the word "Corpsman". My uncle and every other Marine or Sailor I ever heard pronounce the word
was "CORE-MAN" not "CORPS-MAN".

Other than that the book is great.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Finally accuracy

I feel as though I finally know my own father. He died at 53 when I was 17 and not interested in history. I never had the chance to know him.

  • Overall

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.

  • Overall

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.

  • Overall
  • Peggy
  • Lakeview, OR, USA
  • 06-14-07

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.

  • Overall

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.