The Origins of the Greek Civil War

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Addison-Wesley Longman, Incorporated, 1995 - History - 248 pages
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The Greek Civil War (1943-50) has had less attention than it deserves from historians. A major conflict in its own right, it developed out of the rivalry between communist and conservative partisans for control of Greece as the Axis forces retreated at the end of the Second World War. Spanning the transition from World War to Cold War, it offers a case-study of the tensions played out across the ethnic and cultural faultlines of Europe at that time - and how the major powers used them for their own ends. In this striking and original study, David Close does justice both to the domestic context of the conflict and also to its international significance. His emphasis, however, is on the former, since to most readers the political history of Greece in the period will be unfamiliar territory. His purpose is to explore the issues which were at stake; to explain why deep-rooted tensions erupted in violence; and to understand why the conflict involved so large a proportion of the population across so much of Greece. He begins with an analysis of Greece after the First World War, showing why the country was so vulnerable to the devastating economic and ideological forces which swept through Europe in the earlier part of the century. He shows how foreign powers manipulated the warring factions in Greece for their own purposes - but he also emphasises how far the Greek factions professed ideologies, and pursued strategies, that were their own, and not imported from abroad. He traces the long descent into bloodshed; and the book ends with a concise account of the conflict itself, and its eventual outcome.

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Contents

Greece after the First World War
1
Rightwing Dictatorship 193541
32
Invasion and Collapse of Authority
60
Copyright

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