Synopses & Reviews
The Greek War of Independence is a masterful work--the first comprehensive study in thirty years--of one of the most heroic and bloody struggles for independence any people has ever waged. This was the revolution of the Romantic Age, inspiring painters, poets, and patriots the world over, fired as much by Lord Byron's ringing words and Delacroix's brilliant paintings as by Greece's seemingly hopeless plight. For nearly four hundred years the Ottoman Turks governed Greece, subjecting the country to crushing and arbitrary tax burdens and its peasants to serfdom; the glories of the ancient past were gone, and under Turkish rule Greece was poor and backward. But inspired by the examples of the American and French revolutions, Napoleon's victories, and the Latin American wars of liberation, the Greek people rose up against their Turkish masters in 1821. For twelve brutal years--a time of terrible violence and bloody massacre--the Greeks and the foreign volunteers who flocked to their cause fought until independence was won in 1833.
In what is certain to be the standard history for many years to come, David Brewer has captured the period brilliantly, from the ground up--the heroes and villains, the victories, and the tragic defeats. Greece was, as Byron said, a land with a special destiny: "Freedom's home, or Glory's grave."