When I started reading this book I thought that the Flyboys Bradley referred to were the Flyboys of WWI... like the movie. No, the Flyboys Bradley describes in this book are those of WWII.
Bradley begins the book with a brief overview of the history of the relationship between Japan and the United States. I treated the book with skepticism at the beginning wondering when Bradley would get around to talking about the Flyboys. I understood the background Bradley explained in his first book, Flags of Our Fathers. After all, he was talking about his father, along with several other men of course. The background Bradley gives his readers in this book while connected to the main story did seem somewhat extraneous though.
As I progressed through the book I became amazed with how objectively Bradley dealt with the facts of the war. He described the worst and the best of the Americans as well as the best and the worst of the Japanese. it's hard to hold sympathy with either side when both treat the others as if they weren't even human.
I am not an active anti-war campaigner but after reading about the atrocities of war committed by both sides I can easily see how a person can become such. So many people perished because of the egos and foolishness of a men.
I could hardly put the book down when it ended. Bradley spent many pages talking about the horrible deaths suffered by many of the Flyboys held as POWs by the Japanese after the fall of Iwo Jima. One compassionate Japanese officer when he learned that this Flyboy, Warren Earl, under his care had been ordered to be executed in such a brutal inhumane way, protected him as much as he could up until the moment of his death. Bradley alluded to something that this officer planned to do to remember this Flyboys memory but Bradley did not say then what it would be. Instead Bradley kept this precious bit of information until the very last sentences.
Bradley called this officer, Iwatake, first in his search for the Chichi Jima Flyboys. These are the words that Bradley heard. "Hello, this is Warren."