In Hiding

In Hiding:The Life of Manuel Cortés

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“So brief and yet so complete, so movingly human.” —Arthur Miller, New York Times

In Hiding is the spellbinding story of a man who spent thirty years holed up in his own home to escape execution. Manuel Cortés was a Socialist Party member, an activist in the Republic’s land reform movement, and an organizer in the farm workers’ unionization struggles. As Mayor of Mijas in Andalusia, he became caught up in the ferment of revolutionary Spain in the late 1930s.
A marked man, he evaded Franco’s execution squads to survive in hiding through a generation of persecution and terror until amnesty was decreed in 1969—a period of thirty years. With his wife and daughter, he attempted to escape to France, but failed. In this absorbing narrative, based on numerous interviews with the mayor conducted by Ronald Fraser, a master of oral history, Cortés’s truly awe-inspiring ordeal is supplemented by his family’s life histories and experiences during the Civil War.
A haunting tale and a monument to the art of the oral historian, In Hiding reminds us what the Spanish Civil War was really about.


  • In the mountain of books about the war there cannot be another so brief and yet so complete, so unguarded and yet so subtle, so movingly human as this.

    Arthur MillerNew York Times
  • [In Hiding] bears [Fraser’s] trademark style, a kind of literary anthropology that tells sweeping stories with a pointillist logic ... Scrupulous about structure and detail, his tales are unfailingly readable—from his depiction of a Spanish village in Tajos to his oral history of the civil war, The Blood of Spain.

    Jonathan BlitzerBookforum
  • A truly fascinating account.

    Glasgow Herald