The Ways of War: Idealism Hope and Truth
Publisher: Madison & Adams Press
The Ways of War is Kettle's autobiographical work which is based on the letters he was sending from the battlefield to his wife Mary. Kettle was one of the most brilliant figures both in the Young Ireland and Young Europe of his time. Tom Kettle, an Irish economist, journalist, barrister, writer, war poet, soldier and Home Rule politician joined the Irish Volunteers in 1913. With the outbreak of World War I in 1914 Tom was enlisted for service in the British Army, with which he was killed in action on the Western Front in the Autumn of 1916. The opening chapters of the book reveal him as a Nationalist concerned about the liberty not only of Ireland but of every nation, small and great. After the chapters describing the inevitable sympathy of an Irishman with Serbia and Belgium—little nations attacked by two Imperial bullies—comes an account of the tragic scenes Kettle himself witnessed in Belgium, where he served as a war-correspondent in the early days of the war. The book closes with "Trade or Honour?"—an appeal to the Allies to preserve high and disinterested motives in ending the war as in beginning it, and to turn a deaf ear to those political hucksters to whom gain means more than freedom. Thus "The Ways of War" is a book, not only of patriotism, but of international idealism. Above all, it is a passionate human document—the "apologia pro vita sua" of a soldier who died for freedom.