The American novelist, Edith Wharton, worked to save the lives of thousands of Belgian and French refugees during World War I. When the war began, the expatriated Wharton and Henry James saw any possible German victory as "the crash of civilization", thus prompting their early involvement with the allied cause. In the opening weeks of the conflict, Wharton wrote war reportage at the front and organized relief efforts in Paris. Before the first of the war was over, she had created organizations and raised funds for three major war charities that bore her name. As the war sank into a stalemate of trench warfare, Wharton continued to write magazine and newspaper articles, organize fundraising schemes, and to rally painters, composers and writers to raise money for her refugees and to sway American popular opinion. The book draws on unpublished letters and archival materials in Europe and the US, to document Wharton's activities as a fund-raiser, philanthropist, propagandist and political activist during this period.