The Flags of Our Fathers

Table of Content

The Flags of Our Fathers was a novel written by James Bradley with Ron Powers. James Bradley was born in 1954 in Wisconsin. Bradley studied at the University of Notre Dame, Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan and graduated with a degree in East Asian History from the University of Wisconsin. Bradley is the author of two other books named Flyboys: A True Story of Courage and The Imperial Cruise. He has traveled the world, living and working in more than 40 countries for nearly a decade.

He has run companies in the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy. He has jumped out of airplanes at 15,000 feet, has scuba-dove in deep waters worldwide, traveled to Mount Everest’s base camp and walked among lions in Africa. This book, The Flags of Our Fathers, is about the efforts and resilience of the men who fought in the battle of Iwo Jima. In February 1945, American Marines entered into the surf at Iwo Jima. Through a volley of machine-gun and mortar fire, they battled to the island’s highest peak.

This essay could be plagiarized. Get your custom essay
“Dirty Pretty Things” Acts of Desperation: The State of Being Desperate
128 writers

ready to help you now

Get original paper

Without paying upfront

And after climbing through a landscape of misery itself, they raised a flag. 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. James Bradley has written a classic story of the heroic battle for the Pacific’s most crucial island. But the most interesting part of the story is what happened after the victory. The men in the photo, three of the six were killed during the battle, were designated heroes and flown home.

For two of them, the praise was shattering. Only James Bradley’s father truly survived, displaying no copy of the famous photograph in his home. 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. Important points that the author James Bradley was trying to make in the book would have to be about mothers, heroism, and misguided media. First I’ll talk about why I believe mothers are a key and important point in the story.

In Chapter 5, after hearing that his mother has become ill, Franklin Sousley writes, “You can grow a crop of tobacco every summer, but I sure as h*** can’t grow another mother like you. ” Mothers are important figures in Chapter 13 as well. Belle Block is convinced that her son, Harlon, is one of the men in the famous flag-raising photograph. Belle Block’s trouble as a mother is highlighted in Chapter 17. After she learns of Harlon’s death on Iwo Jima, something is not the same with her.

Ira Hayes’s makes the important trip to Weslaco, Texas, to tell Belle that her son, Harlon, is in the famous photograph. She contacts her Congressman to make sure that they can publicly identify Harlon in the photograph. Belle knew who her son was and this is how mothers are an important point in this novel. Heroism is a theme that is often misunderstood or misrepresented by the media in my opinion. One of the main reasons Jack refuses to talk about his experiences on Iwo Jima is that he doesn’t want to have the title of a hero.

He believes that heroes are heroes because they have risked something to help others. He said, “the flag raising contained no action worthy of remembering, and this doesn’t make him a hero; he is made a hero by his actions in saving his fellow Marines and in attempting to save those who ended up dying on the island. ” Jack Bradley’s famous quote he said in an interview was, “Your teacher said something about heroes… I want you to always remember something. The heroes of Iwo Jima are the guys who didn’t come back. ” This is how heroism is a main theme in this book.

James Bradley describes the attack on Pearl Harbor by using quotes from the media. He takes the point of view of Americans who were no longer able to ignore Japan as an enemy. The theme of the misguided media is extremely relevant as newspapers ignore the raging battle on Iwo Jima. Time magazine spreads an unconfirmed rumor on its radio program when it broadcasts that the photograph was staged. Rosenthal demands and receives a public apology from Time, but the photograph would cause him much frustration in the future.

Though the Marines continue to fight on Iwo Jima, the next edition of Time magazine published the photograph of the flag rising on its front page as if the battle had been won. Jack Bradley is mistrustful of the media and refuses to give interviews to the journalists who often call his home for the rest of his life. The media is targeted as contributing to destructive behavior. A reporter from the Chicago Sun-Times visits Ira in jail and takes his photograph, and that newspaper posts his bail and enrolls him in a rehabilitation program.

These are examples of why I believe that the misguided media puts a major point in this story. The author, James Bradley, did an excellent job in my eyes on this book. He was able to have my undivided attention all the way through the book and it was actually a pretty easy read even though it was a non-fiction book. The author has said to interview over three hundred people to publish this book. I believe that most of what he has published is true only to be having a few opinions about the media or other small things.

The only thing that I would recommend that he would change is that sometimes he had the so called “flashbacks” in the book, and it would often confuse me as to what point he was actually trying to make. Throughout this story, the argument that James Bradley makes about why freedom has such a high price is beyond convincing. I would consider this book to be the best relevant information out there. Most of the material that he has published in this book has come from many Americans who have yet had a chance, or decided not to voice their opinion to other writers.

Even though World War Two is one of my top five favorite wars, this book has informed me with such things that I have never hear about before. Everyone in the United States of America should care about this material in this book because of the one word that he stressed throughout his story, freedom. If anyone reads this book and doesn’t feel proud to be an American after reading it, I would recommend them to leave the country. This book, and the picture of the rising of the flag, should still affect us to this day to make sure we are proud to be an American

Cite this page

The Flags of Our Fathers. (2016, Dec 24). Retrieved from

Remember! This essay was written by a student

You can get a custom paper by one of our expert writers

Order custom paper Without paying upfront