Scholars often consider this 1855 title Greece's first social novel. Set during the Greek war of independence, it tells the story of brothers Thanos, a farmer, and Tassos, a soldier. While Tassos's fight for his nation's freedom might seem the nobler cause, he uses his political connections for personal gain, while his nearly anonymous brother serves his country in a less visible but more honest way. This edition contains an introduction by translator Doulis. More for the academics.
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The protagonist of this novel that was originally published in Greece in 1855 is Thanos Vlekas, a young sharecropper who hopes to improve himself and his land. In following Vlekas' exploits, the author brings to light the problems troubling Greece at that time, including brigandage, corruption, and the endemic inefficiency of the nation. The novel also deals with another failure of the new Greek state: its inability to provide law and security to border provinces and to administer and dispose properly of land to which it had title. The story concludes with the issue of the apportionment of "national lands," the thousands of acres taken from Muslim landowners after liberation. Thanos Vlekas, written more than 145 years ago, is relevant today in a world where conflict and corruption continue to tarnish society. George Cohen
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