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.
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 »
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 »
February 14, 2015
WE’RE ALL ESCAPISTS AT HEART, dreaming of another life in another place without the nagging worries that go with our daily routine.
However, if you take the big step and launch yourself into a new life, a “simple life” in a totally different environment, it can turn out rather more complicated than you expected.
In the case of one not-so-innocent Britisher, his escapist dream turn turns into a dramatic adventure with sinister surprises lying in wait.
Don’t Miss The Fiesta!, a thriller set in a Spanish village, takes the lid off the surprises that could await a stranger in an outwardly tranquil Andalusian pueblo. Read the rest of this entry »
July 27, 2014
WANDER along the seafront of a certain lesser-known Spanish resort and you will find a phallic-looking structure bearing a small plaque.
It honours a penniless youth whose writings helped put the town, Almuñecar in Granada province, on the tourist map.
“Laurie Lee? Who he?” Spanish visitors may ask.
But in his native England Lee is a celebrity — and this year the centenary of his birth has been celebrated with special events and the publishing of new editions of his books. Read the rest of this entry »
March 22, 2014
DECADES after Spain tore itself apart in a civil war the pain lingers on. The Ley de la Memoria Histórica, a recently enacted law, aims to heal some of the old wounds but has only succeeded in exacerbating the fierce debate.
Passions are still fierce, not just about the war itself but about the repression that followed during the long years of dictatorship. The country has yet to come to terms with events that occurred more than 50 years ago, not least those of a desperate guerrilla conflict which raged in the 1940s.
Thus, Between Two Fires — Guerrilla war in the Spanish sierras could not be more timely. This important book throws fresh light on a struggle which — thanks to strict censorship — went largely unreported both in Spain or in the rest of the world. Read the rest of this entry »
August 4, 2013
EVERYBODY remembers the first time they stepped on to Spanish soil. Dazzling light, dramatic landscapes, colourful personalities, pungent smells…they make an impact on the most travel-jaded.
You may be exhilarated or exasperated, enthralled or appalled, but you cannot remain indifferent, for this is a land which invites extreme emotions.
However, my first visit contradicted all the stereotypes for I came away convinced that the rain in Spain fell mostly on green, misty hills inhabited by short, broad people who wore large berets and carried black umbrellas everywhere. This impression arose from a day trip from France to San Sebastian. Read the rest of this entry »