This book is made up of articles written abroad in the spring and summer of 1918 and cabled or mailed back for publication at home.
It has been given to the writer to behold widely dissimilar aspects of the Great War. As a neutral observer, hailing from a neutral country, I was a witness, in Belgium, in northern France, in Germany and in England, to some of its first stages. That was back in 1914 when I was for awhile with the British, then for a period with the Belgian forces afield, then for a much longer period with the German armies and finally with the British again. I was of like mind then with all my professional brethren serving publications in non-belligerent countries, excepting one or two or three of a more discerning vision than the rest. Behind the perfection of the German fighting machine I did not see the hideous malignant brutality which was there.
In the first half of this present year, as a partisan on the side of my country and its federated associates, I visited England and for a space of months travelled about over France, with two incursions into that small corner of Flanders which at this time remained in the hands of the Allies.
I have seen the Glory of the Coming. I have watched the American Expeditionary Force grow from a small thing into a mighty thingthe mightiest thing, I veritably believe, that since conscious time began, has been undertaken by a free people entering upon a war on foreign shores with nothing personally to gain except a principle, with nothing to maintain except honour, with nothing to keep except their national self-respect. In this war our only spoils out of the victory will be the establishment of the rights of other peoples to rule themselves, our only territorial enlargements will be the graves where our fallen dead sleep on alien soil, our only tangible reward for all that we are giving in blood and treasure and effort and self-denial, will be the knowledge that in a world crisis, when the liberties of the world were imperilled, we, as a world-power and as perhaps the most conspicuous example in the world, of a democracy, did our duty by ourselves, by our republican neighbours overseas and by our children and their children and their children's children.