Uncommon Valor, Common Virtue

by Hal Buell

"Among the Americans who served on the Iwo island, uncommon valor was a common virtue."
--Admiral Chester Nimitz                                        

It remains the U.S. Marine Corps' bloodiest battle. In 36 days of horrific fighting, Iwo Jima - a virtually unknown but critically strategic Japanese island - became a place no one would forget. Fifty years later, it is the iconic photo of Marines raising the American flag on the battle's fifth day that keeps the memory of Iwo Jima alive. This photograph, by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal, would eventually mean much more than just a brief image from a faraway island - it would come to symbolize the valor and eventual victory of the Marines, and the nation's determination to win World War II. 

This is the full story of the ten days Rosenthal spent on Iwo Jima as Marines fought on bloody, black volcanic sands against a murderous onslaught - and how his Pulitzer prize-winning picture came to be. Generously illustrated, Uncommon Valor, Common Virtue is a grunts-eye view of the Marines' savage struggle against a masterful Japanese army prepared to fight to the end. Included with the book is a DVD of the actual raising of the flag on that fateful day.

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