Flags of Our Fathers
A Young People's Edition
Publication Date: September 12, 2006
List Price: $6.99*
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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.
"From the Hardcover edition.
Ron Powers, a Pulitzer Prize-winning and Emmy Award-winning writer and critic, has studied and written about Mark Twain for many years. He is the author of ten books, including "Dangerous Water: A Biography of the Boy Who Became Mark Twain, " and the coauthor of two, including the #1 "New York Times" bestseller "Flags of Our Fathers." He lives in Middlebury, Vermont.
A graduate of Stanford University with a degree in English and of Northwestern University with a master's in journalism, Michael French is the author of twenty-four books: adult and young adult fiction, art criticism, biographies, adaptations, and gender studies. His newest adult novel, The Reconstruction of Wilson Ryder, he views as a drama about America's cultural values. French's work, which includes several best-sellers, has been warmly reviewed in the New York Times and been honored with a number of literary prizes. A native of Los Angeles, he also is a successful businessman, activist, and, with his wife, Patricia, a philanthropist raising money for programs aiding teachers in Santa Fe, N.M., public schools, which are some of the most challenged in the country. They divide their time between Santa Fe and Santa Barbara, Cal.
"The best battle book I ever read. These stories, from the time the six men who raised the flag at Iwo Jima enlisted, their training, and the landing and subsequent struggle, fill me with awe."—Stephen Ambrose