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Nick Rankin

Nicholas Rankin grew up in Kenya, and spent much of his twenties in South America and Spain. His first play adapted fictions by Jorge Luis Borges; his first short story was about the day that Franco died, and his first book, Dead Man’s Chest, followed Robert Louis Stevenson from Scotland to Western Samoa. 

Nick worked for BBC World Service radio at Bush House for twenty years, ending up as Chief Producer. His series A Green History of the Planet won two UN awards. Another of his radio documentaries led to his second book, Telegram from Guernica, the biography of the war-correspondent George L. Steer. He followed this with Churchill’s Wizards, a study of camouflage and deception in both world wars, and then with Ian Fleming’s Commandos, the true story of 30 Assault Unit, the Naval Intelligence battalion founded by the creator of James Bond.   


Nick has been visiting Gibraltar regularly since 2013, working on his recently published new book Defending the Rock: how Gibraltar defeated Hitler (Faber 2017). 'Meticulously researched', according to BBC History magazine, the book explores the courage and resourcefulness of the peninsula and its vital strategic importance during the Spanish Civil War and the Second World War. 'Rankin is a wonderful story-teller' wrote the reviewer in The Times

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