Frances Stonor Saunders concludes her series about great intellectual gatherings, exploring how they brought together for just a brief moment in history, competing personalities with conflicting ideas in politics, diplomacy, art, economics and literature.
A huge conference was convened: the First International Congress of Writers for the Defence of Culture.
It was attended by some of Europe's greatest literary figures: Boris Pasternak, Andre Malraux, EM Forster, Andre Gide, Aldous Huxley and Bertolt Brecht were amongst the 220 delegates from 40 countries.
The whole affair was a thinly veiled communist front, but it turned into the last great showcase of European literary culture before it was swept away by war.
The writers were plagued by the question of how to respond to the spectre of the new dictatorships and social chaos that was growing around them.
How should the world's great artists, apparently so important and so revered, confront the book burnings and propaganda? Frances Stonor Saunders brings back to life their speeches, arguments and protests.