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Fifteen Days: Stories of Bravery, Friendship, Life and Death from Inside the New Canadian Army Hardcover – Oct 30 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday Canada; First Edition edition (Oct. 30 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385664664
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385664660
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 3 x 24.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 703 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #302,815 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

“Blatchford has the rare ability to make her descriptions of combat, particularly those involving loss of life and serious injury, almost embarrassing to the reader. You feel that you are eavesdropping on very private matters. Her extensive research and her own recollections as she was caught up in the thick of some of the heaviest fighting are compelling, gut-wrenching and, unfortunately, real. . . . She walked the walk. . . . Blatchford’s hundreds of hours of interviews in Canada have produced a rare, intimate look at how individual families coped with an early-morning knock on the door, and the presence of a unit officer and a padre with devastating news, or having a vehicle chase down a father out for a jog with a request that he get in and return home because ‘the Army is at your house.’. . . As someone who has been to Afghanistan visiting our troops a couple of times, I learned more about the performance of our soldiers from reading Blatchford’s book then [sic] I did from being on the ground for short stays. . . . I’ve never felt prouder of being Canadian then when I’ve had the pleasure of commanding, or, in the case of Afghanistan, observing Canadian soldiers performing their duties abroad. Fifteen Days reinforced that pride even more. Bravo Zulu, Christie Blatchford.” — Major-General Lewis MacKenzie (ret’d) in The Globe and Mail

Her work, at its best, tends to reflect life’s mirror. There is death in her book, of course. It’s about war, after all — our war, to those who support it, and our soldiers, even to those who don’t. Blatch [sic] gives them more than just faces, she gives them life. And, for those who died wearing Canada’s uniform, she gives them a life that no newspaper has the length and space to describe, and no television documentary can convey in an hour’s time slot.” — London Free Press


“Christie Blatchford brings to the theatre of hostilities her keen eye and curiosity. She writes superb prose that conveys the experience of the Canadians’ war in Afghanistan. She understands the soldiers and has grasped the comradeship that binds them together. She not only informs Canadians of today’s military realities, but champions values such as honour and sacrifice. She is exceptionally evocative, superbly descriptive, and develops a compelling storyline.” - Citation from the 2006 Ross Munro Media Award

“Sandstorms, killer heat, sneak suicide attacks, rotten food, bites from five-foot snakes, death of buddies, can’t tell the enemy from friends - a tough and deadly war, yet Blatchford shows how our troops soldier on with no complaints. You will be involved in conversations with the troops that could only be gathered first hand. This book will open your eyes to this brutal war and it is worthy of our brave young men and women.  It is a tough book written by a tough broad who tells it like it is. I could not put the book down.” - Don Cherry

Fifteen Days is by far the most deeply personal and startlingly honest account of Canadian soldiers since they first stepped foot in Afghanistan. Uninhibited by the official line, the troops hold nothing back, proving over and over why they are the best PR agents in the military; they also have the most to lose. By earning their confidence and respect, Christie Blatchford has delivered a candid and often painful account of their most difficult days. She is a master at capturing the truth of a moment, the humour and the heartbreak. The book is so vivid that I could feel the unbearable weight of the fallen. “ - Lisa LaFlamme, National Affairs Correspondent, CTV National News

About the Author

Christie Blatchford has been a high-profile Canadian journalist for over 25 years, with columns covering sports, lifestyle, current affairs, and crime. She started working for The Globe and Mail in 1972 while still studying at Ryerson, and has since worked for the Toronto Star, the Toronto Sun and the National Post. She returned to The Globe and Mail in 2002. She is a winner of the National Newspaper Award for column writing.

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4.6 out of 5 stars
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on Jan. 14 2008
Format: Hardcover
I wasn't there and won't be. The warfare that I trained for, was to be in Europe fighting the Soviets. Having experienced the camaraderie of units within the forces, I feel for the young men and women on tour in Kandahar. The book brings forward compelling descriptions of the combat, fellowship, frustration, fearlessness and professionalism of our Canadians. Christie may not have gotten to talk to every soldier over there but I'm certain that she would have wanted to if it weren't for being paralyzed in fear in the back of a LAV. Maybe it isn't what some would have said or would have wanted to be told but for the 'folks' back home it brings the war to the doorstep. I'm proud to be a Canadian, but I'm even prouder after reading about the soldiering by these brave young men and women. I highly recommend the book. I truthfully couldn't put it down until I had finished it.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By jim duggan on Dec 31 2007
Format: Hardcover
this is a great book for canadians to read to see what we face over there but .... not all of her stories are accurate ... christie only talked to certain soldiers to write this book ... and some of her descriptions of what happened to us on certain days , are not accurate at all .... "OUTSIDE THE WIRE " is a much more in depth and more accurate book from all angles and is actually wrote by the soldiers and not by a reporter ..... it is published by random house and can be bought on here or in any book store accross the country .
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ian Gordon Malcomson HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Jan. 27 2008
Format: Hardcover
I took on this book because I wanted to be better informed as to what the Canadian mission in Afghanistan is all about. While the names of the fallen and injured in Blatchford's account are well-known to most of us - most prominently the gallantry of Captain Goddard - through news services like CTV and CBC, the stories of their singular efforts may not be. Blatchford, a seasoned and savvy journalist, decided in 2006 to break out of the typical mould of an embedded reporter who hung around base, and connect with the troops on a more compelling, personal plane. What she discovered was both fascinating and revealing. These men and women are both dedicated to and trained for the mission of rooting out the Taliban from southern Afghanistan. Facing death every moment of the day, soldiers of the Princess Pats regiment - commissioned and regular - do their job with a strong sense of respect for vicissitudes of war, the needs of the local inhabitants, and the emotional burdens of each other. This book is the full-meal deal as far as we, Canadians, are going to get without being there ourselves. War is brutal but it also has a wonderful way of bringing together people in a common cause. While Blatchford never tries to soft-soap the reasons for Canada being in this war zone, she lets it be known that Canadians need to see what an incredible difference their soldiers are making on foreign soil. All is not doom and gloom as portrayed in those too-often-repeated ramp ceremonies and military funerals back home. One might be slightly critical as to how the book was laid out in terms of the fifteen days of death, but this is not the time or the place to take issue with such a picayune matter. A great collection of heroic stories told from many different angles.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John Hubbard on Dec 11 2007
Format: Hardcover
You won't regret diving into this book. Obviously the author had life changing experiences there and it comes through on every page. Clear also that she has a tremendous respect for our soldiers, and why the hell not. Very solid read. This was the first book I've ever read in my life that once finished, I immediately started reading again. I found it an emotional read; the book's characters visting my dreams at night. To flog the old cliché, I laughed and I cried.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Eric McMahon on Dec 9 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the most important books of the year, if not the most important.
Blatch describes the lives of our soldiers, and their families at home, and in theater with impeccable attention to detail and often the bluntness that no Canadian will ever get from the 2 minute sound bites on the CBC.
If you truly want an understanding of this war from the ground up, and of what it means to be a Canadian soldier, pick up this phenomenal book today.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Roberto De Lisi on Dec 15 2007
Format: Hardcover
Reveals the reality of the war in Afghanistan, what the troops are actually facing everyday. Finally a book about the soldiers and not the politics behind the operation in Afghanistan!! I Highly recommend this book to all, especially to soldiers deploying in the near future!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amy on Jan. 15 2008
Format: Hardcover
Fifteen Days is not a history textbook, nor, do I expect, was it ever meant to be, as some reviewers have suggested in their criticisms of the book's accuracy. Instead, Christie Blatchford gives us her perspective, and the perspectives of some of the Canadian soldiers she spent time with over the course of her three trips to Afghanistan in 2006.

The physical and psychological stress, violence, and devastation that these soldiers experienced during active combat in Afghanistan, mainly in the volatile Panjwaii district, are vividly described in Blatchford's writing. She captures combat in a very realistic, albeit, sometimes chaotic way, mimicking the chaos and catrastrophe of battle. Many of the soldiers' stories trigger outrage, pride, admiration, and sorrow. The soldiers whose stories are presented become very familiar to the reader; their personalities, strengths, and, in some cases, weaknesses, are apparent on every page of this book.

As Blatchford's title suggests, this is a book about soldiers' stories from the frontline, and on that level the book is successful. Readers will gain a better insight into many of the situations the Canadian troops are up against every time they venture out into Panjwaii and the surrounding districts in Afghanistan. [Amy MacDougall]
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