The Salonika Bay Murder: Cold War Politics and the Polk Affair

The Salonika Bay Murder: Cold War Politics and the Polk Affair

by Edmund Keeley
     
 

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Edmund Keeley makes a penetrating inquiry into the injustices of the "Polk affair"--the sensational murder of the zealous American journalist George Polk during the Greek Civil War, and the subsequent trial of a scapegoat in whitewashed proceedings that involved not only Greek, American, and British government officials but also a committee of distinguished American

Overview

Edmund Keeley makes a penetrating inquiry into the injustices of the "Polk affair"--the sensational murder of the zealous American journalist George Polk during the Greek Civil War, and the subsequent trial of a scapegoat in whitewashed proceedings that involved not only Greek, American, and British government officials but also a committee of distinguished American journalists and their representatives in Greece. Keeley's account shows how Cold War politics and Greek civil conflict led to the torture, forced confession, and conviction of a Salonika journalist. "[A] masterly reexamination of the affair. . . . Keeley has done remarkable work in bringing to light a great deal that was not previously known." --C. M. Woodhouse, The New York Review of Books " . . . a compelling work of detection and analysis. . . . a readable and provocative work." --Herbert Mitgang, The New York Times " . . . painstaking research, coupled with an admirable intellectual rigor, has produced a work that is a model of clarity and honesty."--Phillip Knightley, The Washington Post Book World

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A Greek equivalent of the Dreyfus affair, the Polk murder case involved one George Polk, an independent-minded American correspondent for CBS, whose body was discovered in 1948 in Salonika Bay, a bullet hole in the head. Polk had gone to Greece to interview the Greek communist guerrilla leader Markos Vafiadis in his secret mountain headquarters. The official solution to the crime was that it was the work of ex-communist journalist Gregory Staktopoulos, a local stringer for Reuters, and two co-conspirators. But Keeley, chairman of Princeton's Hellenic Studies Committee, presents compelling evidence that Staktopoulos was innocent, his confession obtained by torture. With civil war raging, Greek officials desperately wanted to pin the crime on communists, and they apparently did so with collusion from the U.S. State Department, the OSS (later to become the CIA) and American and British diplomats. The murder has never been solved, but complicity between the Greek, British and U.S. governments evidently led to the scapegoating of innocent men and a whitewashing of this official cover-up. Buttressed by declassified documents and interviews with participants, this gripping account of a complicated case sheds fresh light on the pernicious effects of clandestine operations on democratic institutions. Photos. (May)
Library Journal
George Polk was a CBS correspondent in Greece, trying to make contact there with Communist guerrillas, when he was murdered in 1948. U.S. journalists, backed by the State Department, put intense pressure on Greek officials to solve the case. But concern for the unstable Greek government and fear of the Communist threat became paramount factors. In time a Greek journalist and his mother were tried as accessories, the alleged principals being Communist guerrillas; the trial featured a shifting confession and contradictory evidence. Keeley offers considerable evidence that the confession was obtained by torture and that journalists and three governments participated in a cover-up. Not an easy read, but important for postwar history collections.-- Nancy C. Cridland, Indiana Univ. Libs., Bloomington

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691055657
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
04/01/1989
Pages:
412
Product dimensions:
6.44(w) x 9.58(h) x 1.44(d)

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