Now It Can Be Told comprises of Philip Gibbs recollections regarding the First World War, in which he served as an officially commissioned war reporter.
Titled in reference to the relieving of censorship laws following the conclusion of World War One in 1918, this book is noticeably different from the censored or dumbed-down accounts published under Gibbs' byline in popular newspapers as the conflict wore on. In this book, the full scale of the horror wrought in Europe is told unflinchingly with the aim of showing the depravity of conflict and the destruction that results.
Early in the war, Gibbs' frank and accurate accounts of the carnage of modern warfare unnerved the British government, who were concerned his accounts would demoralize citizens and turn them against the war effort. Gibbs was ordered home; on refusing to cease reporting, he was arrested and forcibly brought back to Britain.
However, men of Gibbs' talent and bravery were in short supply, and the War Office cut him a deal: he could return, so long as he agreed to censor his accounts of battle. Gibbs assented, albeit with great frustration at the constraints placed on his journalism. His output, albeit sanitized, was prodigious.
As the war concluded, Gibbs exacted a measure of revenge for his muzzling by writing disparaging accounts of Sir Douglas Haig, commander-in-chief of the army, and the General Headquarters which oversaw the Western front. Now It Can Be Told, which chronicles the journeys Gibbs made across war-torn Europe, may be considered his final, exacting statement against government censorship.