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Publisher's Summary

On February 19, 1945, nearly 70,000 American soldiers invaded a tiny volcanic island in the Pacific. Over the next 35 days, approximately 28,000 soldiers died, including nearly 22,000 Japanese and 6,821 Americans, making Iwo Jima one of the costliest battles of World War II.

Best-selling oral historian Larry Smith dug deep for exclusive stories from Iwo Jima veterans, including the last surviving flag raiser on Mount Suribachi, a Navajo "code talker", a retired general, two Medal of Honor recipients, B-29 flyers, and other die-hard Marines who secured the island.

Along the way, Smith investigates the controversy surrounding the famous photograph by Joe Rosenthal and presents the groundbreaking story of Japanese General Tadamichi Kuribayashi, rumored to have committed suicide rather than submit to capture.

Iwo Jima is an unprecedented look at this pivotal battle and an inspiring study in courage, perseverance, and humanity.

©2008 Larry Smith (P)2008 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Exemplary oral history." ( Kirkus)
"A unique and compelling book." ( Library Journal)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ron
  • Lecanto, FL, USA
  • 09-04-08

Courageous memories from those who were there

Iwo Jima is a rich compilation of memories from the men who took part in various aspects of the battle. It takes the listener along and at times lets you fight your way through the gritty volcanic sand that makes up the island.

My only annoyance (and it isn't really a complaint) is the narrator is the same reader who did "Brothers in Battle, Best of Friends" which I recently listened too. Hearing the same voice on two completely different books that are oral histories is distracting. This is not the fault of the book, just bad timing on my part. That said I do wish more than one reader would be used in books presenting oral histories of multiple individuals. A lone reader can only do so much to alter their voice.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • Beavercreek, OH, United States
  • 03-18-12

Great stories, horrible performance

The stories of the Iwo Jima veterans are amazing. I've been to Iwo Jima myself (its only open 1 day a year for the rest of the world to see) and its amazing to see the places that these events took place and try and imagine how anyone made it out alive.

Unfortunately, the reader tries to read these stories as if he was the vet telling them. So he reads in the voices of several different 80 something year old men and it kinda kills it. Just read in a normal voice and I'll get it. Its still worth the listen, but it would be great if they'd redo it with a normal voice.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Iwo Jima (Unabridged)

Yet another good book ruined by the reader. In this case, the reader tries to tell the story with the voice of an eighty year old man and fails miserably. I do wish that if Audible provides a sample of the book before we purchase it,then that sample be an accurate representation of what he majority of the book sounds like, not just the introduction. The introduction alone never is enough to know how the reader treats the material. In my case, I know the book interests me, the reason for the sample is to judge if the reader is tolerable. I do feel that non fiction should just be read, no theatrics.

14 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

If you are patriotic...

Great stories from old men who grew up serving this country in their youth. I admit to being in love with history and the history of the USA.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mr
  • 07-09-09

Very Enjoyable

This has been one of my favorite WWII books because it brings the view of this historical battle to a personal level with the veteran's own words. I also enjoyed the narrator very much.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The greatest battle

Now, after listening to this story, I have a greater understanding of the importance of Iwo Jima. A costly battle in dead and wounded for sure but this battle made the USMC.
Listening, gave me an unbiased view of the men who fought a battle which will never be repeated, I hope.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Decent book, terrible narration

The author's over-the-top accents in related the first-person anecdotes that make up this book are so distracting that this book was utterly unenjoyable. Buy the hard copy and read it rather than listening.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Exceptional historical account -

I have visited Iwo Jima and can relate to the accounts included in this book. I concur with other reviewers that the attempt to replicate speaking accents of the men interviewed is somewhat lacking.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Charles
  • LYNDON STATION, WISCONSIN, United States
  • 11-18-12

Iwo Jima.

As with any Book about Iwo Jima you have to find it very interesting. I would recommend it to anyone. A Good Book.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

great story, great people.

I was touched by the lose and sacrifice of all those that fought in this war. The individual stories put a face and a name to what is best in all of us. From story to story, by the end I understood better the words "courage" and "duty".