Fifteen Days: Stories of Bravery, Friendship, Life and Death from Inside the New Canadian Army Paperback – Oct 28 2008
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“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
From the Hardcover edition.
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.
From the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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]
Most recent customer reviews
This book really opened my eyes to some of the things/scenarios/life as a Canadian military man/woman in Afghanistan. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Vanessa
Great insight into the lives of our Canadain Soldiers, some of whom paid the ultimate price in the fight against terrorism, while in Afganistan.Published 8 months ago by Alan B. Volk
Well written. Good personal views of episodes read about in "Contact Charlie"Published 12 months ago by James Manto
Loved everything about the book as it portrays a raw and honest look at the conditions in Afghanistan and of the many Canadian soldiers who fought in this War, and the poignant... Read morePublished on Oct. 3 2013 by Adele Donaldson
this is a well written inspiring book that all Canadians should read. It gave me a special insight to what our soldiers faced every day in service overseas, especially in... Read morePublished on Sept. 4 2013 by jeanne harcourt
I have a friend with 2 sons on active duty - 2 tours each in Afghaniston. This well written book gives me a sobering & frightening look into what they went through.Published on Sept. 1 2013 by B. Gray
Christie Blatchford writes this gripping story of a group of extraordinary soldiers caught up in an incredibly complex war. Read morePublished on March 8 2013 by Alex Petruk
I had the great good fortune to be at a book launch where Warrant Officer Willie MacDonald introduced Christie Blatchford, and afterwards had the chance to talk with him at length... Read morePublished on Dec 1 2012 by Jim Saxman
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