Ted Barris is an award-winning author, journalist, and broadcaster. For more than forty years his writing has appeared in the national press, as well as in history, news, and arts magazines, and he has authored seventeen non-fiction books, including the national bestsellers Victory at Vimy, Juno, and The Great Escape. In 2014, The Great Escape received the national Libris Non-Fiction Book of the Year Award.
Breaking the Silence
"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.
The seed of this book, like several others Barris has written, is rooted in a deeply personal oral history.
The prolific Ted Barris has etched a name for himself as one of Canada's foremost popular historians. Barris is a natural storyteller. Breaking the Silence is an entertaining and informative read.
[Barris] is arguably Canada's preeminent chronicler of the ordinary and extraordinary experiences of soldiers in wartime and their struggles afterward.
The prolific Ted Barris has etched a name for himself as one of Canada's foremost popular historians. While still giving voice to the veterans who experiences the hell, horror and humanity of war, Barris weaves the story of getting the story into the mix. Barris is a natural storyteller. Whether he is bringing a veteran's exploits to life or detailing his own experiences, Breaking the Silence is an entertaining and informative read.