Iwo Jima: Monuments, Memories, and the American Hero

Karal Ann Marling, Author, John Wetenhall, With Harvard University Press $41 (312p) ISBN 978-0-674-46980-8
This study is basically about the legendary WW II battle of Iwo Jima as symbolized by Joe Rosenthal's immortal photograph of the flag-raising on Mount Suribachi. It is also about the fighting men who participated in reenacting the flag-raising for Rosenthal on February 23, 1945, particularly Navy corpsman John Bradley from Minnesota and Marine privates Rene Gagnon and Ira Hayes, from New Hampshire and Arizona, respectively. (Hayes, a Pima Indian, was tragically affected by the hype he was subjected to, a story given a new twist here.) Marling and Wetenhall also write about the politics behind the funding, construction and formal dedication of the Marine Corps Memorial in Arlington, Va.--a gigantic, three-dimensional representation of the Rosenthal photo. Concluding with a moving account of the 1985 visit to Iwo Jima by American and Japanese survivors of the ferocious battle, this gripping book has much to say about war symbolism in popular culture, overwrought patriotism and military valor. Marling is an art history professor at the University of Minnesota; Wetenhall is a curator at the Birmingham Museum of Art in Alabama. Illustrated. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/29/1991
Release date: 08/01/1991
Hardcover - 312 pages - 978-0-674-42315-2
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