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Modern Greece (Brief Histories) 1st Edition

3 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0340763377
ISBN-10: 034076337X
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“As its excellent bibliography demonstrates, its author is alert to developments not only in history but in sociology and social anthropology as well.” ―English Historical Review

About the Author

Thomas Gallant holds the Hellenic Heritage Foundation Chair of Modern Greek History at York University, Toronto

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Product Details

  • Series: Brief Histories
  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Headline; 1st edition (August 3, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034076337X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340763377
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,318,940 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
This amzing book offers in about 250 pages a no-nonsense historical outline of the modern Greek nation. It starts out with a description of the Ottoman legacy including the role of the church, society, economy, and the diaspora, which at that time was centered largely on western Europe.

In the second chapter dealing with the "birth" of the modern nation-state, consideration is given to the intellectual ferment among Greeks and the Enlightenment before and during the revolution, the fascinating lives and works of Korais and Velestinlis, the development of ideology, and the War of Independence. The chapter is rounded out by a description of Kapodistrias's presidency. It also offers a carefully balanced discussion of the origin of a specifically Greek national consciousness, and the author shows how the revolutionaries availed themselves, inevitably, of an aggregate of procedures known as "myth-making."

Chapter Three goes up to 1897 and covers the various political settlements, efforts at nation building, and political reform.

The very important question of Greek identity is discussed at length ... and very intelligently ... in the next chapter, along with the Megali Idea and the unfortuate consequences of trying to implement it.

Chapter Five deals most informatively with Greek society in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries: family, village, farm, marginal ethnic groups (like the Vlachs), gender issues, and the growth in the importance of Athens.

The next few chapters are devoted to an examination of the wars through which the Greek people suffered up to about the mid-point of the twentieth century, reconstructon efforts after each war, periods of authoritarianism in government and chaos in society and the economy.
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Format: Paperback
Gallant relies excessively on 19th century British views of Greece -- and it shows. The perspective is patronizing and the result is a a rather shallow caricature. Really the book is, unwittingly, a reflection of its limited sources' worldview more than anything illuminating on Greece.

A much better, and more respected, work is Clogg's "Short History of Modern Greece."
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