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Eleftherios Venizelos

The Trials of Statesmanship

Paschalis M. Kitromilides
Edited by Paschalis M. Kitromilides

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Eleftherios Venizelos, Prime Minister of Greece, 1910-1920 and 1928-1932, could be considered from many points of view the creator of contemporary Greece and one of the main actors in European diplomacy in the period 1910-1935. Yet the last book-length study discussing the man, his politics and his broader role in twentieth-century history has appeared in English more than fifty years ago. The aspiration of the present book is to fill this lacuna by bringing together the concerted research effort of twelve experts on Greek history and politics. The book draws on considerable new research that has appeared in Greek in the last quarter century, but does not confine the treatment of the subject in a purely Greek or even Balkan context. The entire project is oriented toward placing the study of Venizelos’ leadership in the broad setting of twentieth-century politics and diplomacy. The complex and often dramatic trajectory of Venizelos’ career from Cretan rebel to an admired European statesman is chartered out in a sequence of chapters that survey his meteoric rise and great achievements in Greek and European politics in the early decades of the twentieth century, amidst violent passions and tragic conflicts. Five further essays appraise in depth some critical aspects of his policies, while a final chapter offers some glimpses into a great statesman’s personal and intellectual world. The book is based on extensive scholarship but it is eminently readable and it should appeal to all those interested in twentieth-century history, politics and biography, offering a vivid sense of the hopes and tragedies of Greek and European history in the age of the Great War and of the interwar crisis.

Contents

Acknowledgements
Note on transliteration
Introduction. Perspectives on a Leader
I: SETTING THE STAGE
1. A Century of Revolutions. The Cretan Question
between European and Near Eastern Politics
2. Venizelos' Early Life and Political Career in Crete
(1864-1910)
II: THE DRAMA OF HIGH POLITICS
3. Venizelos' Advent in Greek Politics, 1909-1912
4. Protagonist in Politics,1912-1920
5. Venizelos' Diplomacy 1910-1923: From Balkan
Alliance to Greek-Turkish Settlement
6. Reconstructing Greece as a European State: Venizelos' Last Premiership, 1928-1932
7. I. S. Koliopoulos: The Last Years, 1933-1936
III: THE CONTENT OF POLITICAL ACTION
8. Eleftherios Venizelos and the Experiment of
Inclusive Constitutionalism
9. Venizelos and Civil-Military Relations
10. Venizelos and Economic Policy
11. Modernisation and reaction in Greek education
during the Venizelos era
12. Andreas Nanakis: Venizelos and Church-State Relations 351
IV: OFFSTAGE
13. Venizelos' Intellectual Projects and Cultural Interests
Contributors.

About the Author

Paschalis Kitromilides is Professor of Political Science at the University of Athens and Director, Institute for Neohellenic Research at Greece's National Research Foundation. An authority on the history of political thought and on Modern Greek history and politics, he is the author or editor of over twenty five books and of many scholarly articles in several languages.

Paschalis Kitromilides is Professor of Political Science at the University of Athens and Director, Institute for Neohellenic Research at Greece's National Research Foundation. An authority on the history of political thought and on Modern Greek history and politics, he is the author or editor of over twenty five books and of many scholarly articles in several languages.

Reviews

Paschalis Kitromilides' edited volume is … extremely timely in making the most recent scholarship on Venizelos widely available. It is all the more welcome because the portrait provided is rounded and mature … Venizelos was always driven relentlessly by "the intense politicization of life", and it is the politics which comes alive in this indispensable book.
This book makes a mejor contribution to the literature on a subject about which very little exists in English or in other international languages...Venizelos's unfluence in the shaping of Greek and Balkan history has been immense, and the volume certainly should be considered compulsory reading for the student of Greece and of Southeastern Europe.
- Evanthis Hatzivassiliou, University of Athens, European Journal of Cultural Studies