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144 Reviews unceasing battle between the competing rhetorics of heritage and ownership; the humiliation of the citizen; the power struggles of owners and bureaucrats; and the gradual encroachment on die residents' attitudes of a carefully cultivated consciousness of historical heritage that often rebounds against the ideology that is its primary source of nourishment" (257). This is a richly textured and provocatively written study. Herzfeld tells a complex tale in an innovative narrative style that allows key actors in the story to speak for themselves. The insertion of the author, too, as a participant in the action parallels in narrative form the book's dominant thesis regarding the mutability of the past and its constant recreation in variant forms in the present. We see before us the creation of national, local, and personal histories. Herzfeld shows how in Rethemnos they come together concretely in the houses of the Old Town. This study represents a major contribution to the growing literature on the nature of history. It deserves a wide readership both for the story it tells and the way it tells it. Thomas W. Gallant University of Florida Haris Vlavianos, Greece, 1941-1949: From Resistance to Civil War, the Strategy oftL· Greek Communist Party. London: Macmillan. 1992. Pp. 319. £50.00. A history of the Greek Communist Party (KKE) in the turbulent decade of the 1940s is a daunting undertaking. Crucial party decisions as well as its leaders' motives and perceptions must be gleaned from countless cryptically worded texts and pronouncements made public long after the fact, and from "memoirs" intended to absolve their authors of responsibility for failed policies by vilifying one-time comrades. Taking seriously Oscar Wilde's witticism, "The one duty we owe to history is to rewrite it," Greek communist writers have raised to new heights the art of revising or inventing history, especially their own movement's. Such a practice, combined with the paucity of party records available to outsiders, obligates the historian to decide for himself which statements and accounts should be taken seriously and which should be treated as smoke screens and disinformation. As Haris Vlavianos, who holds a doctorate in international relations from Oxford and teaches history and politics at the American College of Greece, demonstrates in this highly readable and useful study, even before the defeat of their insurrection in 1949, KKE leaders, like incompetent and mean-spirited midwives, were blaming each other for botching their stillborn revolution. Indeed, perhaps the most important contribution of this volume is the systematic assembly and dissection of a long series of official party texts and firsthand accounts of decisions during the period of resistance and civil war, some Reviews 145 appearing in hard-to-find publications. These include the party's "Official Documents" and several edited collections of reports, minutes, and speeches, as well as the remarkable if spotty group of KKE documents from the mid-1940s edited by Philippos Iliou and published in the newspaper Avyi in 1979-1980. Surprisingly, the impressive mix of sources does not include Peter J. Stavrakis's Moscow and Greek Communism, 1944-1949 (Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1989), which offers a more detailed and subtle analysis of the Soviet role in die Greek civil war than what is found in these pages, or the works of Ivo Banac on the Stalin-Tito split and its impact on events in Greece. On the other hand, Vlavianos's focus is narrowly and deliberately on the Greek communists; all other actors—domestic as well as foreign—in the Greek crisis are kept largely in the wings, their strategies outlined briefly but competently. While breaking little new ground, Vlavianos offers a meticulous, comprehensive , and basically fair account of KKE's role in the national resistance and civil war. His main conclusions, which in some instances have to be extracted from fragmented statements scattered throughout the volume, are likely to stand die test of time. Of course, if rumored Soviet directives to Europe's wartime resistance organizations ever surface (some were allegedly intercepted by the British), and if they contain surprises concerning Moscow's instructions to the KKE, the history of the period may have to be written yet again. Greece, 1941...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3265
Print ISSN
0738-1727
Pages
pp. 144-146
Launched on MUSE
2010-06-24
Open Access
No
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