James Bradley

Easton Press James Bradley books

Flags of Our Fathers - signed first edition - 2007


James Bradley biography

James Bradley, an accomplished author and son of one of the flag raisers in the iconic photograph taken during the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II, was born on May 5, 1954, in Wisconsin. His exploration of history and commitment to preserving the memory of those who served in the military has defined his career as a writer. Bradley's father, John Bradley, was one of the six U.S. Marines captured in the historic photograph taken by Joe Rosenthal on Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945. Raised in a household with a rich military legacy, James Bradley developed a deep interest in the stories of those who served during wartime. After completing his studies at the University of Notre Dame, Bradley pursued a career in business. However, it was his passion for history and a desire to uncover the truth about his father's experiences that eventually led him to a different path.

In 2000, Bradley gained widespread recognition with the publication of his book Flags of Our Fathers. Co-written with Ron Powers, the book delves into the lives of the six Marines who raised the American flag on Iwo Jima and explores the impact of that iconic moment on their lives and the nation. The book was later adapted into a film directed by Clint Eastwood. Following the success of Flags of Our Fathers, Bradley continued to explore themes related to World War II in his subsequent works. Flyboys: A True Story of Courage (2003) delves into the Pacific War and the experiences of American airmen, while The Imperial Cruise: A Secret History of Empire and War (2009) examines the roots of U.S. involvement in the Pacific.

James Bradley's books are characterized by meticulous research, a commitment to historical accuracy, and a deep respect for the individuals who lived through significant historical events. His work not only pays tribute to those who served in the military but also encourages readers to reflect on the broader implications of war and the complex narratives that shape historical memory. Through his writings, James Bradley has become a storyteller of history, preserving the legacies of individuals who played pivotal roles in shaping the course of the 20th century. His dedication to uncovering the truth and honoring the sacrifices of those who served reflects a profound commitment to understanding and preserving the human stories behind historical events.

Flags of Our Fathers

In this unforgettable chronicle of perhaps the most famous moment in American military history, James Bradley has captured the glory, the triumph, the heartbreak, and the legacy of the six men who raised the flag at Iwo Jima. Here is the true story behind the immortal photograph that has come to symbolize the courage and indomitable will of America.

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 flag raisers 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.

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