The Soul of the War

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Author: Philip Gibbs
Published: 1915
Language: English
Wordcount: 132,791 / 376 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 60.8
LoC Category: D
Downloads: 458
Added to site: 2004.07.01
mnybks.net#: 8350
Origin: gutenberg.org
Genres: War, History

An unusually vivid and stirring book. "In this book," says Mr. Gibbs, "I have set down simply the scenes and character of this war as they have come before my own eyes, and as I have studied them for nearly a year of history. If there is any purpose in which I have written beyond mere record is to reveal the soul of war so nakedly that it can not be glossed over by the glamor of false sentiment and false heroics. More passionate than other emotion that has stirred me through life, is my conviction that any man that has seen these things, must, if he has any gift of expression, and any human pity, dedicate his brain and heart to the sacred duty of preventing another war like this."

In his remarkably human narrative, Mr. Gibbs carries the reader from the days of foreboding and early mobilization through the first days of invasion of Belgium and reveals particularly the soul of Paris and the character of the soldiers of France as only an eye witness can tell the story.

Show Excerpt

is still a long way off. The idea of it is too ridiculous and too damnable!"

I lay awake on the night before I left England with the credentials of a war correspondent on a roving commission, and there came into my head a vision of the hideous thing which was being hatched in the council chambers of Europe, even as the little clock ticked on my bedroom mantelpiece. I thrust back this vision of blood by old arguments, old phrases which had become the rag-tags of political writers.

War with Germany? A war in which half the nations of Europe would be flung against each other in a deadly struggle--millions against millions of men belonging to the peoples of the highest civilization? No, it was inconceivable and impossible. Why should England make war upon Germany or Germany upon England? We were alike in blood and character, bound to each other by a thousand ties of tradition and knowledge and trade and friendship. All the best intellect of Germany was friendly to us.

7

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