Michael Aaron Rockland has a natural gift for storytelling. The author of thirteen books and professor at Rutgers University, Michael Rockland can turn an everyday event into an amusing story. It is then no surprise that he turned his years of diplomatic service into a book containing cocktail parties, movie stars, Nazis, a dictator, bull fights, and bombs falling. No it’s not Casablanca in 1942—it’s Madrid, Spain under Francisco Franco in the 1960s.
An American Diplomat in Franco Spain is filled with Michael Aaron Rockland’s experiences as a cultural attaché at the United States embassy in Madrid, Spain in the 1960s. He captures episodes of historical and cultural significance as he goes about doing his country’s business. Some of his stories are quite poignant while others are quite amusing. He shares with his readers how he avoided shaking Franco’s hand, how he spent a day with Martin Luther King in Madrid, how his son was selected to be in the movie Dr. Zhivago, how he came to know several Kennedys, including Senator Edward Kennedy, Pat Lawford Kennedy, and Jackie Kennedy, and how the U.S. accidentally dropped four unarmed hydrogen bombs on Spain. Throughout these stories, Rockland explains Spanish culture, past and present, with his experiences involving bull fighting, being a Jew in a very Catholic Spain, his love affair with Spanish food, and what is lost in translation.
An American Diplomat in Franco Spain was originally published in Spanish by the Bibloteca Javier Coy D’Estudis Nord-Americans, at the Universitat de València in 2011. Its Spanish title was Un Diplomático Americano en la España de Franco. The English version has been edited to appeal to an American audience.
An American Diplomat in Franco Spain by Michael Aaron Rockland, published by Hansen Publishing Group, releases October 2012. Both the paperback and ebook editions will release simultaneously: $15.00 paperback (ISBN 978-1-60182-304-5) and a $5.99 ebook (ISBN 978-1-60182-305-2 for the Barnes & Noble Nook, Apple iPad, Kobo, and the Amazon Kindle).