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320 Reviews initially silences the women's kláma during the mourning ceremony at the graveside, the women's kláma begins again and the mourning ceremony culminates in an acoustic and discursive confrontation between kláma and funeral chant, women and priest—a confrontation that, according to Seremetakis, "reproduces the tensions and antagonisms that are present in the lives of the mourners: the opposition between men and women, between religious or scientific rationality and local forms of divination, between clan and external institutions" (167). TL· Last Word is a fascinating and important book that will no doubt be of interest to a wide range of readers. While Seremetakis, in my view, discredits some binary oppositions more convincingly than others, and while there are moments in TL· Last Word where I wish that the author, from her privileged perspective, had explored her findings in greater theoretical detail, the significance of this book is, it seems to me, precisely that it gestures in so many directions and that it constructs a text that is open to so many re-readings. Indeed the pleasure of The Last Word is that it is not the last word, or, rather, that like the "last word" of the Maniat woman's lament, it is less a closure than an evocative and beckoning gesture to that which exceeds it. Rebecca Saunders University of Wisconsin—Madison Gerasimos Augustinos, The Greeks of Asia Minor: Confession, Community, and Ethnicity in the Nineteenth Century. Kent, Ohio: The Kent StateUniversity Press. 1992. Pp. χ + 270. $39.00. This is a well-written, well-documented, readable book. It gives us a comprehensive account of the Ottoman Greek communities of Asia Minor in the middle decades of the nineteenth century in terms of confession, community organization, and ethnic identity. As such, it fills an important gap in the historiography not only of Modern Greece but also of the Ottoman Empire, for the author studies one of the principal non-Muslim communities of the Empire and its relation to the Ottoman state and its policies. Furthermore, taking the Greeks as a case study, the author grapples with issues such as perceptions of self-identity in the Ottoman Empire or the degree of success of the tanzimat reforms in forging cohesiveness among the Empire's multiethnic communities. These are some of the issues that are currendy debated in Ottoman historiography, thus rendering the work's contribution to the field particularly pertinent. Also, the author treats the relations of the communities with the Greek state and with that state's brand of nationalism as expressed by the Great Idea, topics that have not been adequately addressed in Modern Greek historiography. The author sees the nineteenth century as a period of revival, a come- Reviews 321 back for the Greeks of Asia Minor in terms of demography, economy, and culture. Drawing on a number of sources, some of which are new or litde known, that illumine the organization and activities of these communities, Augustinos succeeds in giving us a rich picture of their activities. From dealing with matters of local administration and the handling of collective financial obligations, including taxes to the state, to managing collective communal property and raising funds as well as providing for the religious, educational, cultural, even medical and general welfare needs of its members, the communities fulfilled a multitude of functions in varying degrees depending on their financial standing. The communities also undertook profit-generating enterprises for communal benefit, as well as carrying out state-mandated services such as keeping the official records of the community. Here, contrary to the skepticism felt by most historians regarding such records, Augustinos considers them accurate . He argues that it was in a community's best interests to keep good records in order to insure that all individuals met their financial obligations toward the community. Although we have a varied picture of the communities' activities, we perhaps do not learn enough about ideological conflicts that must have existed in the midst of these communities (except for the tension between clergy and laity as a result of the tanzimat reforms). Furthermore, while Augustinos's treatment of communities in small towns is generally thorough and effective (he often uses...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3265
Print ISSN
0738-1727
Pages
pp. 320-322
Launched on MUSE
2010-06-24
Open Access
No
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