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Children of the Greek Civil War: Refugees And The Politics Of Memory Paperback – 2 Dec 2011

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Children of the Greek Civil War: Refugees And The Politics Of Memory + Flight of Ikaros: Travels in Greece During the Civil War
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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press (2 Dec. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226135993
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226135991
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,116,863 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"This remarkable study breaks new ground in several areas: in its methodology, its style, and its topic. Balanced to an impressive degree, Children of the Greek Civil War succeeds magnificently in showing the parallels between the experiences of the two sides in a way that is moving as well as analytically compelling." (Michael Herzfeld, Harvard University)"

About the Author

Loring M. Danforth is the Charles A. Dana Professor of Anthropology at Bates College and the author of several books, including, most recently, The Macedonian Conflict: Ethnic Nationalism in a Transnational World. Riki Van Boeschoten is associate professor of social anthropology and oral history at the University of Thessaly, Greece, and the author of From Armatolik to People’s Rule: Investigation into the Collective Memory of Rural Greece (1750–1949).

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By MR K on 4 May 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The most balanced research that I have read to this day. I particularly liked reading the numerous eyewitness reports which spoke without fear of offending the Right, the Left/Communists and the nationalists in Greece or in FYROM. It was also valid to have a number of accounts from the Slavonic-speaking minority of Northern Greece, as they have also suffered during those lawless years of the 1940's. I didn't feel that the research supported any particular group and it's a book that allows the reader to make up his/her mind on those painful events.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4 reviews
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
good subject, not so good book 14 Dec. 2012
By Mark bennett - Published on
Format: Paperback
At the peak of the Greek Civil War in the 1940s, the Greek Communist party conducted a mass deportation of children. The children were sent away from their parents into new lives in the Soviet Bloc. The action has always been controversial to say the least.

The authors of this book have as their unstated aim a reappraisal and rehabilitation of the controversial policy. The book reads as if the conclusions were reached before the first word was put on paper and the facts were arranged accordingly. The argument is built up through comparative argument to other historical events, selective history and a very selective (and very inadequate) survey of those who survived the relocation.

The comparative argument is made in terms of the Greek Government's relocation/refugee camps for children which existed during the civil war. This "device" allows the authors to draw a moral (and practical) equality between the two sides in the war while not having to deal with the actions of either side in isolation. But not stopping there, the analysis is done with a stacked deck to make the favored side seem "better" and the unfavored side seem "worse".

The survey methods and conclusions drawn are questionable. The sample sizes are small and there is no correction made for the obvious fact that those most receptive to the survey will be those who are well off and those who are political. There were probably better and more objective ways to understand the fate of the children than the methods used in the book. And what are we to conclude from those results? The results would seem to suggest that a policy of taking children away from poor, backward parents and giving them an expensive state education is a net positive for children. But the moral implications of that conclusion are astounding. The conclusion liberated from the Greek context would seem to support historical actions such as the American/Canadian policy of taking Native American children away for boarding school education. Do the authors really mean to go that far? Do the ends really justify the means in terms of removing children from their country, their culture and their parents? I certainly don't find the easy answers that the authors implictly are reaching for.

The book could have been better if the author's had kept their agendas in check and focused on the subject itself. If they had focused on collecting information about experiences of the children and letting the children tell their own story. If they had focused on bringing in a wide array of firsthand viewpoints rather than trying so very hard at a political reappraisal of the actions of one side.

There is some interesting information the book, but the reader will have to dig for it and avoid a whole lot of nonsense while doing so.
Very informative. Clunky, wooden writing. 17 Feb. 2015
By rhb - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very informative. Clunky, wooden writing.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Children of the Greek Civil War: Refugees and the Politics of Memory 27 Aug. 2012
By Magda - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It book gives light to a time in Europe that most people do not want to remember. The civil war between Macedonians and Greeks. The information gives people a new view point to matters in Europe.
Five Stars 27 Nov. 2014
By Eduardo M Capitani - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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