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Breaking the Silence: Untold Veterans' Stories from the Great War to Afghanistan

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"Never talked about it." That’s what most people say when they’re asked if the veteran in the family ever shared wartime experiences. Describing combat, imprisonment or lost comrades from the World Wars, the Korea War, or even Afghanistan is reserved for Remembrance Day or the Legion lounge. Nobody was ever supposed to see them get emotional, show their vulnerability. Nobod "Never talked about it." That’s what most people say when they’re asked if the veteran in the family ever shared wartime experiences. Describing combat, imprisonment or lost comrades from the World Wars, the Korea War, or even Afghanistan is reserved for Remembrance Day or the Legion lounge. Nobody was ever supposed to see them get emotional, show their vulnerability. Nobody was ever to know the hell of their war. About 25 years ago, Ted Barris began breaking through the silence. Because of his unique interviewing skills, he found that veterans would talk to him, set the record straight and put a face on the service and sacrifice of men and women in uniform. As a result of his work on 15 previous books, Barris has earned a reputation of trust among Canada’s veterans. Indeed, over the years, nearly 3,000 of them have shared their memories, all offering original material for his books. Among other revelations in Breaking the Silence, veterans of the Great War reflect on an extraordinary first Armistice in 1918; decorated Second World War fighter pilots talk about their thirst for blood in the sky; Canadian POWs explain how they survived Chinese attempts to brainwash them during the Korean War; and soldiers with the Afghanistan mission talk about the horrors of the "friendly fire" incident near Kandahar. Breaking the Silence is a ground-breaking book that goes to the heart of veterans’ war-time experiences.


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"Never talked about it." That’s what most people say when they’re asked if the veteran in the family ever shared wartime experiences. Describing combat, imprisonment or lost comrades from the World Wars, the Korea War, or even Afghanistan is reserved for Remembrance Day or the Legion lounge. Nobody was ever supposed to see them get emotional, show their vulnerability. Nobod "Never talked about it." That’s what most people say when they’re asked if the veteran in the family ever shared wartime experiences. Describing combat, imprisonment or lost comrades from the World Wars, the Korea War, or even Afghanistan is reserved for Remembrance Day or the Legion lounge. Nobody was ever supposed to see them get emotional, show their vulnerability. Nobody was ever to know the hell of their war. About 25 years ago, Ted Barris began breaking through the silence. Because of his unique interviewing skills, he found that veterans would talk to him, set the record straight and put a face on the service and sacrifice of men and women in uniform. As a result of his work on 15 previous books, Barris has earned a reputation of trust among Canada’s veterans. Indeed, over the years, nearly 3,000 of them have shared their memories, all offering original material for his books. Among other revelations in Breaking the Silence, veterans of the Great War reflect on an extraordinary first Armistice in 1918; decorated Second World War fighter pilots talk about their thirst for blood in the sky; Canadian POWs explain how they survived Chinese attempts to brainwash them during the Korean War; and soldiers with the Afghanistan mission talk about the horrors of the "friendly fire" incident near Kandahar. Breaking the Silence is a ground-breaking book that goes to the heart of veterans’ war-time experiences.

42 review for Breaking the Silence: Untold Veterans' Stories from the Great War to Afghanistan

  1. 4 out of 5

    Rick B.H. Ghost

    Great Book I will be reading this one again must read what a record of personal accounts of the Canadian veterans over the years. This small book has preserved the personal history of our Vets, told by them.

  2. 5 out of 5

    E.R. Yatscoff

    Ted is an engaging writer and this book takes in a lot about battles, veterans, soldiers, and military in general

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jack Coleman

    Its a well written book with lots of memorabilia but not enough of the reasons why veterans don't talk. Iam greatful every day for their sacrifice,being able to grow old in peace is not a luxury many can aspire. I believe rememberance day is for the victims and vetrans alike. Greave the lost innocense,libraries,art,generations of traumatised people. I've read too many books about war spare me this one.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Edgar Lavoie

    For my crime novel in progress, I needed background for a couple of characters with experience in the current Afghanistan war, and for an historical character who participated in the Great War. Veterans are notoriously close-lipped about their experiences, and this author explores that phenomenon in that time frame. Great insights! I finished the book recently. Opinion has not changed.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ina Cawl

  7. 5 out of 5

    Karen

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tontooter

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jenni

  10. 4 out of 5

    David Horton

  11. 4 out of 5

    Drokka

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kristi

  13. 5 out of 5

    Peter Roach

  14. 5 out of 5

    Paul Liddle

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

  16. 4 out of 5

    Douglas Blakeley

  17. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Melewski

  18. 4 out of 5

    Pam

  19. 4 out of 5

    Julie

  20. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Ireland

  21. 5 out of 5

    Alex

  22. 5 out of 5

    Chris

  23. 5 out of 5

    Judy

  24. 5 out of 5

    Neal fleming

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn Bechthold

  26. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl Andrews

  27. 4 out of 5

    Marilyn

  28. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

  29. 5 out of 5

    Megan Fowler

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jim

  31. 4 out of 5

    Michele Potter

  32. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

  33. 4 out of 5

    Missy

  34. 4 out of 5

    Matt

  35. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Pieters

  36. 5 out of 5

    Joanna Calder

  37. 5 out of 5

    Amy

  38. 5 out of 5

    Brie

  39. 5 out of 5

    Joelle

  40. 5 out of 5

    Austin Smith

  41. 5 out of 5

    Michael Gawlinski

  42. 4 out of 5

    Mike

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