I apologize for the delay in getting this posting so late. Preparation and delivery of launch has really kept me and my teammates extremely busy. So without further delay:
Welcome to the January book of the month, Flags of Our Fathers by James Bradley with Ron Powers
I debated on putting this book as a review because the nature of the book and it seemed different from my typical book of the month postings. However, after I thought about it this book fits right in with almost all of the books I have discussed! You see most of the books I read change my perceptions or notions in some way and I have to tell Flags of Our Fathers did that for me in several ways. So if you want to learn more about the men who are in the most reproduced photo in history and the story behind the photo, then this book will not disappoint.
The book is writing by James Bradley who is the son of one of the flag raisers, John Henry Bradley, aka 'DOC'. What amazes me about how James wrote the book was the book was written after his father passed forward. James goes on to explain his fathers guarded nature around Iwo Jima and photo and after you read the book you will have some understanding why he did so. I do not think we will ever fully know, unless you were there, the guarded nature of the soldiers. You will also understand why John Bradley never considered himself a hero, even though he was a hero in every sense of the word.
When you think about the photo, it probably conjures a lot of images for you. Did you know that the picture was taken very early on in the battle of Iwo Jima? The battle continued on for nearly a month after the photo. Do you know how the media treated the photo, and how America’s perceptions of the war (not always in a good way) were changed by the photo? The book will explain those answers along with many other details about the MEN, the society, and the battle. I do not want to give away too much from the book in this posting.
From a personal perspective, John Baker and I ran in the Marine Corps Marathon. The Marathon starts and ends at the Iwo Jima memorial. I never really understood the very nature of the memorial until after I read the book. My appreciation for the Marines who fought and died on Iwo Jima grew to an indescribable level and really changed my view point on the marathon and why I ran in it.
I have not read the other side of the story which is Letters from Iowa Jima but it is my list to buy. The last thing to mention is that I have not seen the movie, but I will tell you the book is incredible. So if any of you have read Letters or seen the movie let me know what you thought and comment.
You can find out more about the book here: Flags of Our Fathers
You take a look at my other book of the months here: http://blogs.technet.com/matthewms/archive/tags/Book+of+the+Month/default.aspx
Please comment if you have read the book and let me know what you think!