416 pages, 8.98 × 5.99 × 0.89 in
October 28, 2008
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0385664672
ISBN - 13: 9780385664677
Read from the Book
3 August 2006–“Blackest day of my life. Four perfect men lost, seven others injured. . . . The day will be marked by acts of heroism– some witnessed, some described to me. I will have to tell the story someday, when I can do so without choking up.”–from Ian Hopeto Christie BlatchfordSaturday 8/5/2006 1:40 p.m.By July 2006, Task Force Orion was a killing machine.Named for the conspicuous constellation of stars known as the Hunter, Orion was the Canadian battle group made up of the soldiers of the 1st Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry in Edmonton; a company from the 2nd Battalion and a battery of gunners from 1st Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, both based in Shilo, Manitoba; and combat engineers.Even into the early spring, the soldiers of Roto 1, as the sevenmonth tour in Kandahar Province was called, had confronted many tests that tax a soldier’s resolve and ingenuity. But they had yet to face fullfledged combat.The troops were being blown up regularly, killed and maimed by Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) planted by an enemy who went unseen and largely uncaught.They met endless groups of village elders, and older Afghan men who appointed themselves elders, in countless shuras, or consultations. Most of these were peaceful, if occasionally galling, because the soldiers suspected, and in a few cases damn well knew, that some of the same men laying bombs by night or with certain knowledge of who was doing so would sit cross-legged with them by day, swi
From the Publisher
Long before she made her first trip to Afghanistan as an embedded reporter for The Globe and Mail, Christie Blatchford was already one of Canada’s most respected and eagerly read journalists. Her vivid prose, her unmistakable voice, her ability to connect emotionally with her subjects and readers, her hard-won and hard-nosed skills as a reporter–these had already established her as a household name. But with her many reports from Afghanistan, and in dozens of interviews with the returned members of the 1st Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry and others back at home, she found the subject she was born to tackle. Her reporting of the conflict and her deeply empathetic observations of the men and women who wear the maple leaf are words for the ages, fit to stand alongside the nation’s best writing on war.
It is a testament to Christie Blatchford’s skills and integrity that along with the admiration of her readers, she won the respect and trust of the soldiers. They share breathtakingly honest accounts of their desire to serve, their willingness to confront fear and danger in the battlefield, their loyalty towards each other and the heartbreak occasioned by the loss of one of their own. Grounded in insights gained over the course of three trips to Afghanistan in 2006, and drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews not only with the servicemen and -women with whom she shared so much, but with their commanders and family members as well, Christie Blatchford creates a detailed, complex and deeply affecting picture of military life in the twenty-first century.
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.
“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