The story of Gibraltar is one of siege, starvation, plague, and battles interspersed with periods of peace. The colony's civilian population is made up of a rich and complex racial mix of exiled Jews, French royalists, Maltese merchants, emigrants from India and Genoese fishermen who fled Napoleon. Marc Alexander's book is the first full history of the rock for many years, providing the background to a unique community and a chronicle of a remarkable chapter in British military history. Even now, at the beginning of the new millennium, the future of teh 6.5 square km territory is still uncertain. An important RAF base, it is a fragment of Britain's imperial past set uneasily in the territory of a fellow member of the European Union apparently eager to reclaim it. Gibraltar's dramatic history is far from over.
The History Press