I was familiar with the iconic image--arguably one of the most recognized images in the world--but knew nothing about the battle, the men, or the tiny pacific island.
What I learned about the battle and the men involved in the battle both horrified me and inspired me. Before reading this book, I didn't know that the battle for Iwo Jima was the costliest battle in the Pacific and over the course of the 45 day battle, 6,821 American soldiers and 18,300 Japaness soldiers lost their lives. I didn't know that the famous picture we think of the flag raising was actually an image captured on the second raising of the flag.
Flags of our Fathers was one sons journey to better understand his father. Growning up James Bradley knew that his father, John Bradly, a navy medical corpsman was in the famous picture, but it was a subject that was never talked about. In fact when reporters called they were always told that their father was in Canada fishing. So when James Bradley found boxes of papers and war medals dealing with the battle after the death of his father, John Bradley, James began a three year quest to find out more about this battle and his father's role in it.