First edition cover
Flags of Our Fathers (2000) is a New York Times bestselling book by James Bradley with Ron Powers about the six United States Marines who would eventually be made famous by Joe Rosenthal's lauded photograph of the flag raising at Iwo Jima, one of the costliest and most horrifying battles of World War II's Pacific Theater. The flag raisers were Harold Schultz, Rene Gagnon, Ira Hayes, Mike Strank, Harlon Block, and Franklin Sousley; the latter three men died later in the battle. Strank was a Sergeant who refused several promotions during the battle in order to "Bring his boys back to their mothers." Block was a corporal who reported to Strank, and the rest were privates in the Marines, except for John Bradley, a Navy Corpsman who administered first aid to Easy Company of 2nd Battalion, 28th Marines, 5th Marine Division, the company to which all the flag raisers were assigned.
The book, published in May 2000 by Bantam Books, a division of Random House, spent 46 weeks on the New York Times nonfiction bestseller list, spending six weeks at number one. Shortly after the book's publication, Steven Spielberg acquired the option on the film rights for DreamWorks Pictures.
The book follows the lives of the six flag-raisers through their early lives of innocence, military training, fierce combat and afterward, when they were sent on tours to raise money for war bonds.
The film adaptation Flags of Our Fathers, which opened in the U.S. on October 20, 2006, was directed by Clint Eastwood and produced by Steven Spielberg, with a screenplay written by William Broyles, Jr. and Paul Haggis.
- eFilmCritic.com interview with James Bradley about Flags of Our Fathers
- Booknotes interview with Bradley on Flags of Our Fathers, July 9, 2000.
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