In recent years, small Greece, often associated with ancient philosophers and marble ruins, whitewashed villages and cerulean seas, has been at the center of a debt crisis that has sown economic and social ruin, spurred panic in international markets, and tested Europe s decades-old project of forging a closer union. Read more...
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In recent years, small Greece, often associated with ancient philosophers and marble ruins, whitewashed villages and cerulean seas, has been at the center of a debt crisis that has sown economic and social ruin, spurred panic in international markets, and tested Europe s decades-old project of forging a closer union.
In The Full Catastrophe, James Angelos makes sense of contrasting images of Greece, a nation both romanticized for its classical past and castigated for its dysfunctional present. With vivid character-driven narratives and engaging reporting that offers an immersive sense of place, he brings to life some of the causes of the country s financial collapse, and examines the changes, some hopeful and others deeply worrisome, emerging in its aftermath. A small rebellion against tax authorities breaks out on a normally serene Aegean island. A mayor from a bucolic, northern Greek village is gunned down by the municipal treasurer. An aging, leftist hero of the Second World War fights to win compensation from Germany for the wartime occupation. A once marginal group of neo-Nazis rises to political prominence out of a ramshackle Athens neighborhood.
The Full Catastrophe goes beyond the transient coverage in the daily headlines to deliver an enduring and absorbing portrait of modern Greece."
- ISBN-13: 9780385346481
- ISBN-10: 0385346484
- Publisher: Crown Pub
- Publish Date: June 2015
- Page Count: 294
- Dimensions: 1 x 5 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-04-27
- Reviewer: Staff
Journalist Angelos delivers a fast-paced, gripping survey of the problems leading to and resulting from Greece’s debt crisis. Through lively interviews and plentiful, vivid detail, Angelos draws out the contradictions in national character that make a virtue of outwitting a bloated, corrupt government apparatus through strikes, tax evasion, disability frauds, and blocking necessary reforms (such as taking jailed public employees off payroll). With an able grasp of the country’s turbulent past and “wonderfully complex amalgamation of cultures and traditions,” Angelos empathetically links Greek resistance to the severe bailout terms with long-held resentment of “foreign occupation” by foes like the Ottoman Turks and the Nazis. He also brings a tone of moral clarity, explaining how blame-shifting and lack of accountability have exacerbated Greece’s problems. Angelos takes a particularly close look at the rise of far-left groups like Syriza and the far-right Golden Dawn, and the increase in violence toward the immigrant population. As he explains, Greece’s “sacred ideological pillars” of its ancient Hellenic culture and status as the “fountainhead of Europe’s common heritage” are both necessary to its recovery and impediments to solving its current woes. Angelos’s often amusing, occasionally dismaying stories form a necessary and compelling read for anyone interested in the current crisis and its possible remedies. Agent: David Patterson, Foundry Literary + Media. (June)