Modern Greece: A Short History

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Acclaimed for its penetration, balance, and insight, Modern Greece tells the story of Greece and its people, from the founding of Constantinople to the eclipse of socialism in the late twentieth century. C. M. Woodhouse is uniquely qualified to write the history of Greece, having served there in the Allied military and the British embassy during and after World War II before writing several books on Greece. In this classic work, which Woodhouse has updated five times to create a truly comprehensive history, the ...
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Overview

Acclaimed for its penetration, balance, and insight, Modern Greece tells the story of Greece and its people, from the founding of Constantinople to the eclipse of socialism in the late twentieth century. C. M. Woodhouse is uniquely qualified to write the history of Greece, having served there in the Allied military and the British embassy during and after World War II before writing several books on Greece. In this classic work, which Woodhouse has updated five times to create a truly comprehensive history, the depth of his knowledge and understanding of the country and its citizens comes through clearly in every chapter, as he ranges from the ascendancy and eventual fall of the Byzantine Empire through the emergence for the first time of a unified Greek kingdom in the 1800s to the political turmoil of twentieth-century politics. This is a book for readers and travelers who wish to understand the history and culture behind the beauty that is eternal Greece.
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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A comprehensive history of Greece from the reign of Constantine the Great to the end of the 20th century, written by former diplomat Woodhouse (The Struggle for Greece, 1941 - 1949, not reviewed). Without falling prey to any pro- or anti-Greek political rhetoric, Woodhouse conducts an indiscriminate investigation of the factors that led first to the collapse of the Byzantine Empire in 1453 and then to the independence of Greece in the 1820s and subsequent conflicts. He demonstrates convincingly that the devastation of crusades on Constantinople contributed to long-term hostility between Eastern and Western Christendom, while the indifference of fellow Christian rulers to the destruction of Byzantium by the Turks made the Greeks' downfall inevitable. Woodhouse debunks many a myth about the Greeks' living conditions under the Ottoman Empire. While they (like all non-Muslims) had to pay special taxes, they enjoyed considerable freedom of religion, trade, and education. In fact, some Greek communities suffered more from their own Greek administrators than from Turkish oppressors. With Greek identity hard to define after years of dispersion, Greek independence resulted largely from the struggle for domination of the Balkans among external powers—mainly Russia, Britain, Germany, and the Ottoman Empire. Left to its own devices, independent Greece often slipped into the chaos of civil wars, political instability, and corruption. Delving into the concept of enosis (union) and the present deadlock in Cyprus, Woodhouse traces the conflict to British blundering, Greek expansionist moods, the treachery of the Greek Cypriot government and a lack of good will on the part of mainland GreeceandTurkey. A solid survey of almost two millennia of Greek history, full of both aspirations for national unity and constant civil discord. The material is dense, saturated with dates and names, and will probably be a hard nut to crack for the average reader. It is also unfortunate that the author completely neglected the last decade of the 20th century, as he finishes his account with Papanderou's defeat in the 1989 elections.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780571132386
  • Publisher: Faber and Faber
  • Publication date: 1/1/1984
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 322

Meet the Author

C. M. Woodhouse is also the author of The Philhellenes; Apple of Discord: A Survey of Recent Greek Politics; The Struggle for Greece, 1941-1949; and many other books. He lives in England.
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