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Background to The Man He Didn’t Know

My wife is from the north of Spain, so we’ve been visiting that part of the world since the 1970s.

I was in my twenties the first time I went there, and was, (as most twenty somethings are), oblivious to the political undercurrents swirling around me, as this was around the time of Franco’s death. Spain seemed to me like just another country, although perhaps a bit less wealthy than Australia.

Only later did I come to realize what was going on, and how close the country came to yet another political upheaval. Much later, I began to read about fascism and it’s various ugly manifestations, and of course General Franco loomed large.

Also, I’ve always been fascinated by the idea that one person’s hero is another person’s monster. That’s especially apparent today, when we see terrorists despised by most thinking people for committing seemingly random atrocities, yet millions of people around the world, see them as martyrs.

Can they really be both? Indeed they can. As someone much smarter than me observed, “Perception is reality.”

The final part of the story idea came from another theme that’s always intrigued me, the idea that someone can be so different from the persona they project, and only by digging, often deeply, can we get to the real personality. When thinking about this idea, it occurred to me this can be especially true of relationships across generations.

All of those bits that had been swirling around in what passes for my brain, finally came together with this book.

I hope you enjoy the result.