1915. Neutral America is debating the proper response to the war: Henry Ford - inventor, industrialist, billionaire - decides it's bad for business. When he announces he will give up everything to stop it, the papers go to work and he agrees to fund a peace ship to sail to Europe with the promise: 'Out of the trenches by Christmas, never to return'. Struggling to persuade any serious political figures to join his quest, Ford leaves New York with the bombastic peace activist, Rosika Schwimmer, and her entourage, along with a sodden, cynical pack of journalists. Ford initially embraces the press, but he soon finds himself menaced by invisible U-boats in the mid-Atlantic, surrounded by eccentrics, idealists adn parasites, while their reports to the papers back home turn the entire venture into a laughing stock. The resulting novel is a captivating and virtuosic tale based on one of the most extraordinary episodes of the early twentieth century.