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Dangerous Citizens: The Greek Left and the Terror of the State

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

WINNER OF THE 2011 VICTOR TURNER PRIZE, Society for Humanistic Anthropology

WINNER OF THE 2011 EDMUND KEELEY BOOK PRIZE, Modern Greek Studies Association

HONORABLE MENTION IN ARCHEOLOGY and ANTHROPOLOGY, 2009 Prose Awards

This book simultaneously tells a story-or rather, stories-and a history. The stories are those of Greek Leftists as paradigmatic figures of abjection, given that between 1929 and 1974 tens of thousands of Greek dissidents were detained and tortured in prisons, places of exile, and concentration camps. They were sometimes held for decades, in subhuman conditions of toil and deprivation.The history is that of how the Greek Left was constituted by the Greek state as a zone of danger. Legislation put in place in the early twentieth century postulated this zone. Once the zone was created, there was always the possibility-which came to be a horrific reality after the Greek Civil War of 1946 to 1949-that the state would populate it with its own citizens. Indeed, the Greek state started to do so in 1929, by identifying ever-increasing numbers of citizens as Leftistsand persecuting them with means extending from indefinite detention to execution. In a striking departure from conventional treatments, Neni Panourgi\~ places the Civil War in a larger historical context, within ruptures that have marked Greek society for centuries. She begins the story in 1929, when the Greek state set up numerous exile camps on isolated islands in the Greek archipelago. The legal justification for these camps drew upon laws reaching back to 1871-originally directed at controlling brigands-that allowed the death penalty for those accused and the banishment of their family members and anyone helping to conceal them. She ends with the 2004 trial of the Revolutionary Organization 17 November.Drawing on years of fieldwork, Panourgi\~ uses ethnographic interviews, archival material, unpublished personal narratives, and memoirs of political prisoners and dissidents to piece together the various microhistories of a generation, stories that reveal how the modern Greek citizen was created as a fraught political subject.Her book does more than give voice to feelings and experiences suppressed for decades. It establishes a history for the notion of indefinite detention that appeared as a legal innovation with the Bush administration. Part of its roots, Panourgi\~ shows, lie in the laboratory that Greece provided for neo-colonialism after the Truman Doctrine and under the Marshall Plan.

Synopsis:

This book simultaneously tells a storyaor rather, storiesaand a history. The stories are those of Greek Leftists as paradigmatic figures of abjection, given that between 1929 and 1974 tens of thousands of Greek dissidents were detained and tortured in prisons, places of exile, and concentration camps. They were sometimes held for decades, in subhuman conditions of toil and deprivation.

The history is that of how the Greek Left was constituted by the Greek state as a zone of danger. Legislation put in place in the early twentieth century postulated this zone. Once the zone was created, there was always the possibilityawhich came to be a horrific reality after the Greek Civil War of 1946 to 1949athat the state would populate it with its own citizens. Indeed, the Greek state started to do so in 1929, by identifying ever-increasing numbers of citizens as aLeftistsa and persecuting them with means extending from indefinite detention to execution.

In a striking departure from conventional treatments, Neni PanourgiA places the Civil War in a larger historical context, within ruptures that have marked Greek society for centuries. She begins the story in 1929, when the Greek state set up numerous exile camps on isolated islands in the Greek archipelago. The legal justification for these camps drew upon laws reaching back to 1871aoriginally directed at controlling abrigandsaathat allowed the death penalty for those accused and the banishment of their family members and anyone helping to conceal them. She ends with the 2004 trial of the Revolutionary Organization 17 November.

Drawing on years of fieldwork, PanourgiA uses ethnographic interviews, archival material, unpublished personal narratives, and memoirs of political prisoners and dissidents to piece together the various microhistories of a generation, stories that reveal how the modern Greek citizen was created as a fraught political subject.

Her book does more than give voice to feelings and experiences suppressed for decades. It establishes a history for the notion of indefinite detention that appeared as a legal innovation with the Bush administration. Part of its roots, PanourgiA shows, lie in the laboratory that Greece provided for neo-colonialism after the Truman Doctrine and under the Marshall Plan.

Synopsis:

This book is a riveting, theoretically astute, and eloquently written account of collaboration, betrayal, and endurance. Only an author herself a member of Greek society could hear so well the silences, glimpse so well odd appearances (of, say, a man, carrying leftist books, who appears at a door without warning, wearing clothes twenty years out of date), and recognize the partiality of stories that reveal the scars left on society by the peremptory roundups and sometimes decades-long detentions whereby more and more Greek citzens were confined in concentration camps following the Greek Civil War.

About the Author

NENI PANOURGI is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University. She has published Fragments of Death, Fables of Identity: An Athenian Anthropography, winner of the Grand Jury Prize of the International Society of Ethnohistory and co-winner of the Chicago Folklore Prize. She has co-edited, with George E. Marcus, the volume Ethnographica Moralia: Experiments in Interpretive Anthropology (Fordham).

Product Details

ISBN:
9780823229680
Author:
Panourgia, Neni
Publisher:
Fordham University Press
Author:
Panourgi�, Neni
Author:
null, Neni
Author:
, Neni
Author:
Neni Panourgi 
Author:
Neni Panourgi
Author:
Panourgi?, Neni
Author:
Panourgi
Subject:
Anthropology - Cultural
Subject:
History
Subject:
Europe - Greece
Subject:
Greece History Civil War, 1944-1949.
Subject:
Greece Politics and government 1974-
Subject:
Political History
Subject:
World History-Greece
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20090831
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
44 bandw illus.
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Europe » Greece » General
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » World History » Eastern Europe
History and Social Science » World History » General
History and Social Science » World History » Greece
Humanities » Philosophy » General

Dangerous Citizens: The Greek Left and the Terror of the State Used Trade Paper
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Product details 256 pages Fordham University Press - English 9780823229680 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , This book simultaneously tells a storyaor rather, storiesaand a history. The stories are those of Greek Leftists as paradigmatic figures of abjection, given that between 1929 and 1974 tens of thousands of Greek dissidents were detained and tortured in prisons, places of exile, and concentration camps. They were sometimes held for decades, in subhuman conditions of toil and deprivation.

The history is that of how the Greek Left was constituted by the Greek state as a zone of danger. Legislation put in place in the early twentieth century postulated this zone. Once the zone was created, there was always the possibilityawhich came to be a horrific reality after the Greek Civil War of 1946 to 1949athat the state would populate it with its own citizens. Indeed, the Greek state started to do so in 1929, by identifying ever-increasing numbers of citizens as aLeftistsa and persecuting them with means extending from indefinite detention to execution.

In a striking departure from conventional treatments, Neni PanourgiA places the Civil War in a larger historical context, within ruptures that have marked Greek society for centuries. She begins the story in 1929, when the Greek state set up numerous exile camps on isolated islands in the Greek archipelago. The legal justification for these camps drew upon laws reaching back to 1871aoriginally directed at controlling abrigandsaathat allowed the death penalty for those accused and the banishment of their family members and anyone helping to conceal them. She ends with the 2004 trial of the Revolutionary Organization 17 November.

Drawing on years of fieldwork, PanourgiA uses ethnographic interviews, archival material, unpublished personal narratives, and memoirs of political prisoners and dissidents to piece together the various microhistories of a generation, stories that reveal how the modern Greek citizen was created as a fraught political subject.

Her book does more than give voice to feelings and experiences suppressed for decades. It establishes a history for the notion of indefinite detention that appeared as a legal innovation with the Bush administration. Part of its roots, PanourgiA shows, lie in the laboratory that Greece provided for neo-colonialism after the Truman Doctrine and under the Marshall Plan.

"Synopsis" by , This book is a riveting, theoretically astute, and eloquently written account of collaboration, betrayal, and endurance. Only an author herself a member of Greek society could hear so well the silences, glimpse so well odd appearances (of, say, a man, carrying leftist books, who appears at a door without warning, wearing clothes twenty years out of date), and recognize the partiality of stories that reveal the scars left on society by the peremptory roundups and sometimes decades-long detentions whereby more and more Greek citzens were confined in concentration camps following the Greek Civil War.
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