For the first time, the little market town of Cowbridge in the Vale has its own Book Festival.
With more than 25 authors from all sorts of genres, it has attracted some big names. Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair’s former spin doctor, is arguably the highlight with his talk coming this Friday evening.
But last night, I met another writer, Adam Hochschild. The American told me about his compelling book To End All Wars.The book explores how a group of families find themselves divided by passionate views of patriotic fervour on one side, with pacifism on the other.
Between the outbreak of World War I in 1914 and the introduction of conscription in 1916, more than 2.5 million men signed up for active military service. Such was the sense that this was a war worth fighting.
And yet there was also a strong peace movement in Britain that clashed with that sense of jingoism.
Adam, a trained journalist, hails from San Francisco. He told me he was drawn to writing this book because he always had admired the resisters of the war, one that he said he believes made the world worse in every conceivable way. A belief he put into action when he demonstrated against the Vietnam war in the 1960s.
During World War I, death and destruction were on a massive scale, he said. Yet, there were always people who stood against the war. These were the people he admired and ultimately wanted to write about.
To research the book , Adam made several trips to the UK, visiting the British Archives and the National Archives at Kew. But for him, the most fascinating records were those held at Scotland Yard and within military intelligence.
View the interview on ITV Wales here.