- Andreas in Jail and in Exile: Junta, Resistance, Americans, Karamanlis by Stan Draenos
Stan Draenos is well known to anyone who has an interest in post–World War II Greek politics. His work in Athens included service as historian at the Andreas Papandreou Foundation. His earlier book, Andreas Papandreou: The Making of a Greek Democrat and Political Maverick (I. B. Tauris, 2012) provided a balanced analysis of Andreas's leap into Greek politics after two decades in American academia and association with the American liberal political establishment. That volume ended with the 1967 coup in Athens and Andreas's arrest by the Greek Junta. The discussion in the book under review ends late in 1969, although the epilogue looks ahead well into 1974. The book is short but insightful. It is written in Greek, which limits its readership, and is part of a series published in Athens on the fiftieth anniversary of the 1967 coup. It is likely to become the preamble and foundation of Draenos's planned second volume on Andreas.
While most books on Andreas offer either passionate accounts or condemnations of the man and his career, Draenos's work is distinguished by balanced perspectives derived from archival sources and wide-ranging research. Various documents and letters are also included in this volume. The book focuses on the political shifts and compromises Andreas made during his traumatic experience in jail and his eventual exile. Developments in Greece are examined in the context of the troubled US politics of the period. The Vietnam War and events surrounding the election of Richard Nixon in 1968 are examined for their effects on US relations with Western Europe and the intensifying East-West confrontation. The volume examines various unknown and inadequately [End Page 81] explored aspects of Andreas's life during the Junta's first three years in power. These years proved to be critical to his subsequent ideological radicalization and his shift by 1974 from being a center-left politician to a "neo-Marxist revolutionary." This radicalization was already evident when he published his 1972 book, Paternalistic Capitalism.
In four short chapters and a provocative epilogue, Draenos examines the dilemmas facing the Lyndon Johnson administration in the United States as it attempted to defuse domestic Greek political pressures caused by Andreas's captivity while at the same time trying to define a modicum of relations with the Greek Junta. Chapter 2 analyses the "identity crisis" caused by George Papandreou's criticism of his son's actions that may have contributed to the coup. Chapter 3 focuses on the doubts and uncertainties faced by Andreas as he tried to define his place and role in the struggle against the Junta while in exile. Chapter 4 addresses the failed attempts to open a dialogue and reach a consensus with the exiled patriarch of Greek politics, former prime minister Konstantinos Karamanlis. The eventual emergence of the "radicalized Andreas" was the outcome of his attempt to overcome the political dilemmas discussed in the first three chapters.
Several interesting conclusions about the controversial Andreas emerge from this brief book. His nine-month isolation in the Averoff jail in Athens during the Junta deprived him of his political identity and kept him apart from critical political developments after the politically tumultuous years of 1964–67. Added to that experience was his exile in Europe and Canada. His ambivalence is reflected in his vague responses about his political future, including the possibility of withdrawing from Greek politics, and his eventual acceptance that a post-Junta Greece could remain a crowned democracy and a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Some of these ideological compromises were intended to help secure the release of political prisoners in Greece, calm Washington's nerves, and rebuild Andreas's ties to the Greek conservatives in order to confront the Junta jointly.
Early overtures were made to Karamanlis through intermediaries and were intended to solicit his involvement and even possibly his leadership of the effort to restore democracy in Greece...