RUPERT MURDOCH’S BIGGEST BLUNDER

March 31, 2017

AUSTRALIA’S OUTBACK IS A ROUGH, TOUGH PLACE. And nobody knows that better than the world’s leading media tycoon: Rupert Murdoch, dubbed the Dirty Digger.

He controls scores of newspapers and television channels from Tasmania to New York City. But he has not had it all his own way. 

Way back in the 1960s, before Murdoch set out to conquer the world, he learned a useful lesson: before going into battle, carefully check the opposition.

He blundered by starting a circulation war in the wrong place: the Outback. And ended up making a humiliating retreat. The scene was Mount Isa, a tough mining town lost in the red rock desert of northwest Queensland. Read the rest of this entry »

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LA GENTE DE LA SIERRA

March 9, 2017

SALE UNA NUEVA EDICIÓN en castellano del libro de David Baird sobre una guerra olvidada — la lucha de unos guerrilleros en los años 1940 contra el regimen de Franco. Era una guerra de que el público no fue informada, ni dentro del país ni afuera.

Cada día hay menos gente que vivío en su propia carne aquella lucha. Uno por uno, los testigos se van desapareciendo. Pero el libro La gente de la sierra — Lucha sin cuartel contra las fuerzas franquistas deja constancia del impacto terrible de aquella guerra desconocida en las sierras de Málaga y Granada.

Recoge el testimonio — apasionante, espeluznante y emocionante — de los campesinos de la Axarquía. Y también de los guerrilleros y de la Guardia Civil.

Comenta el escritor Ian Gibson en el prólogo: “Para muchos españoles el  libro va a ser una revelación…es el resultado de muchos años de paciente indagación y de numerosas entrevistas, a veces muy dificiles de conseguir.”

En Andalucía ‘El Roberto’, un jefe enigmático y carismático, organizó la rebelión de la gente de la sierra. En medio se encontraban los campesinos, víctimas de decisiones llegadas en Madrid, Moscú, Paris, Londres, Washington…

Hablan en este libro gente del pueblo, gente sin pretensiones, gente sin voz. Cuentan cómo una comunidad se encontró en medio de un torbellino de fuerzas sobre el cual no tenía ningún control. Es la historia de lo que pasó en un pueblo entre muchos, un trocito de la historia de España.

Entre la información inédita se incluyen detalles de cómo:

• agentes secretos americanos adiestraron y armaron
a los guerrilleros comunistas

• quedó encubierta durante más de 50 años la verdad
sobre el asesinato de tres jóvenes

‘Merece ser leído por todo aquel interesado
en la historia contemporánea de España’ — Paul Preston, historiador

La gente de la sierra está disponible también en inglés.

Read the rest of this entry »


Land of surprises — the Other Costa

September 9, 2016

“East of Malaga – Your guide to the Axarquia and Costa Tropical is full of useful information and thoughtful advice. It contains everything you need to know about fiestas, sights, wine and food, places to stay and much more.” — The Mail on Sunday

Until recently there was no decent guide in English to the sub-tropical area to the east of Málaga. But that’s all changed thanks to a totally updated guide published by Maroma Press.EastMal cover

Here is all the info  you need to find delightful small hotels and good-quality restaurants as well as facilities for all manner of outdoor activities, from mountain biking to hiking, scuba-diving to canyoning. Read the rest of this entry »


Sunny Side — the 21st century hits a Spanish village

June 11, 2016

Sunny Side Up is David Baird’s ironic look at rural life, reflecting the dramatic changes in southern Spain since he went to live there more than 30 years ago. And now it’s part of a school curriculum — making it required reading in Spanish schools.

Sunny Side cover

“This is a bit daunting,” admitted David, a journalist and author long based in the Axarquía (the eastern corner of Málaga province), when he heard that Sunny Side Up Up — The 21st century hits a Spanish village had been selected as a set book for Fifth Grade students at the Escuela Oficial de Idiomas in Motril, Granada province.

“I have to give presentations to the students and I’m used to asking questions rather than answering them.

“Fielding questions from a bunch of critical students is a different game — especially for somebody who until recently had never made a public speech in his life!”

Hilarious, nostalgic and moving, his book inspired the Sunday Times to comment: “Recommended reading for anybody who ever wondered what happened to the ‘real Spain’.”

After working around the world as a journalist, David has been based for some years in Spain, reporting  for international publications on everything from earthquakes to wine festivals.

Sunny Side Up is published by Maroma Press (www.maromapress.wordpress.com) and is available from English-language bookshops in Spain or from Amazon.

 


Praise from Lonely Planet

January 30, 2016

Lonely Planet, the leading guide book on Spain, has heaped praise on the Maroma Press publication Between Two Fires — Guerrilla war in the Spanish sierras

It comments: “A few communists and republicans continued their struggle after the Civil War in small guerrilla units in Andalucia’s mountains. David Baird’s book Between Two Fires fascinatingly documents the struggle between the guerrillas and the Guardia Civil around the village of Frigiliana in the 1940s and ’50s.”.

The fruit of years of investigation, Between Two Fires is the only book in English that relates what happened AFTER Spain’s Civil War, when rural communities were torn apart as rebels fought to undermine the Franco dictatorship.

To research what happened in those years when tight censorship sealed off Spain from the rest of the world author Baird interviewed former guerrillas, Civil Guards, villagers and their families.

He checked official files all over Spain and as far apart as London and Washington to find out just what happened in a war that went virtually unreported.

In the process  he uncovered details about a brutal crime that was covered up for more than 50 years and about the clandestine training of Spanish guerrillas by members of the American secret service.

Between Two Fires is on sale at English bookshops in Spain and from Amazon and other online outlets.

 


ICE, SNOW AND WAR IN THE SIERRAS

October 31, 2015

ANY DAY NOW the first snows will blanket the summit of one of southern Spain’s highest mountains — just a short distance from the Mediterranean beaches where (hardier) folk swim all year around.

La Maroma, soaring 2,068 metres, is the highest peak in Málaga province — and probably the closest thing to a holy mountain in these parts.

In the days before refrigeration the neveros (literally, “snowmen”) would trek to the top of Maroma to seek snow and ice. This they would pack hard in straw and load it in esparto baskets on the backs of mules. Transported to the coast, the ice was used to cool drinks or make ice-cream. Read the rest of this entry »


TITLE IT RIGHT — HOW TO GRAB READERS

June 23, 2015

Picking the right title can make all the difference when your book goes on sale. But how do you find it? The possibilities are endless, as David Baird discovered.

What do these phrases have in common?

Sunstruck, Fiesta fever, Follow that mule!, Whitewash and olives, The vintage years, Is there a Spaniard in the pueblo?, Everything under the sun, The blossoms of spring, The sunshine life, The donkey that roared…

Answer: they are all suggested titles for a new book. Read the rest of this entry »