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Reviews 301 concerned with questions of culture theory more generally. The book is clearly and often gracefully written, with two dozen informative and engaging photographs and an excellent index. It deserves a wide audience. Eugenia Georges Rice University Mark Mazower, Greece and the Inter-War Economic Crisis. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1991. Pp. xii + 334. £40. The study of Modern Greek economic history is still very much in its infancy, and this pathbreaking study will do much to attract interest to a previously neglected area. It is the first scholarly work on Modern Greek economic history to appear in English (and one of the few in any language). Meticulously researched in Greek, British, and American archives, and accompanied by a wealth of illuminating tables, it carefully and effectively integrates the economic history of the period with the political events. This in itself is important, as so much of the historical analysis of Greece has focused almost exclusively on political events as if they had occurred in a vacuum. As a result, this volume will be of interest to more than economic historians, and the author has clearly made great efforts to make the book accessible to all readers. To help the nonspecialist, the author has provided a succinct account of Greek economic development from the First Balkan War to the Great Depression. This is combined with an excellent account of the Greek political world; indeed one of the most useful characteristics of this work is the way in which, while revealing the twists and turns of economic developments, it places them clearly within the broader political evolution of Greece. Events in Greece are also placed, at useful junctures, within the context of international developments. The inter-war economic history of the country can be seen as falling roughly into three periods. The initial period in the 1920s saw Venizelos attempting to control social conflict through economic growth made possible through foreign capital and cheap domestic labor costs. This was a period in which Greek governments attempted to restore Greece's international position in the wake of military defeat and the obloquy brought on the nation by the 1922 revolutionary government's brutal execution of its predecessors. Among the many policies adopted to establish Greece's international respectability was its return to the Gold Standard in 1928, thereby making the country a full member of the international economic system. The intention was to make Greece an attractive place for foreign investors. The whole question of fixed or floating exchange rates is one that has attracted significant attention from 302 Reviews economic historians, and the evidence provided here on Greece is a welcome addition. The 1929 world economic crisis brought this brief experiment to an end, although its impact took a while to reach Greece. However, it was clear that Europe was in crisis by 1931, when Britain was forced to devalue sterling. The years 1929—32 saw Venizelos, a late but now firm convert to the Gold Standard, engaged in a losing "battle for the drachma." Modern financial history is now full of such fights by governments, which often seem to see them as tests of strength of will and national prestige rather than as matters for cold financial calculation. When Greece finally, if reluctantly, left the Gold Standard and let its currency float downwards, the unexpected result was a dramatic economic recovery that attracted much admiring comment from foreign observers. Because leaving the Gold Standard also meant Greece's default on its foreign debt, new developments had to be financed domestically, out of the country's own resources. Given the devalued drachma, imports became more expensive and the economy boomed through the development of import substitution. But as Mazower observes, this brought new problems that helped to raise to the surface deeper social ills that were to bedevil Greece after 1936. The new industries were not necessarily competitive or efficient on an international level, and the increased need for skilled labor began to push up wage demands. If a dominant figure can be found for the period considered here, it is clearly Eleftherios Venizelos. Greek politics, and Greek society for most of the early decades of this century, revolved around this...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3265
Print ISSN
0738-1727
Pages
pp. 301-302
Launched on MUSE
2010-06-24
Open Access
No
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