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 »
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 »
April 27, 2012
El periodista, historiador y escritor británico David Baird, ha presentado su libro Sunny Side Up, The 21st century hits a Spanish village (El siglo 21 llega a un pueblo español) en Frigiliana (Málaga). Esta obra se ha editado en inglés y alemán.
En este libro el autor relata la evolución de un pueblo axárquico, que no nombra, en los últimos 40 años. Intercala el tono humorístico y el serio para contarnos una serie de anécdotas que pueden ir desde un mendigo ciego que circulaba en moto, hasta un fantasma que aterrorizaba al pueblo. Read the rest of this entry »
November 27, 2010
What do you call a female hedgehog?
Who shot Abraham Lincoln?
What part of an elephant has 100,000 muscles?
Who wants to be a millionaire?
“Invest a thousand bucks in our project and you could make a million,” suggested two fun-loving young Canadians as one winter 30 years ago they circulated around the bars of Nerja on Spain’s Costa del Sol.
It was an offer that was easy to refuse, especially as their main investment seemed to be in San Miguel beer. So everybody laughed and called for another round.
Everybody — except one fellow Canadian. “Why not?” he said and bought a share.
Today he’s a millionaire, for the project he invested in was Trivial Pursuit, possibly the most successful board game of all time. Read the rest of this entry »