As the world was erupting into war in 1941, twenty-one-year-old Perry Hallam, from Pierre, South Dakota, began a globe-spanning career with the US Department of State. He joined the department’s Foreign Service Corps and was assigned to a country in Southeast Asia that was one of the first places Japan overran, so his assignment changed to another part of the world: Baghdad. This book focuses on the day-to-day experiences of being thrown together on a ship that embarked on a voyage to the other side of the world, complete with clashing personalities from all walks of life and places of origin. Following that trip, which includes an unusual train trip to the final destination, Perry describes the dark bowels of a teeming Baghdad street bazaar. The book ends with a description of the Tripartite Conference of the Allies’ top leadership. The conference brought him, and a collection of other government and military figures, to Moscow, where he describes the strange wartime culture that, to the native Muscovites, seem to have become normal.