The Greek Connection: The Life of Elias Demetracopoulous and the Untold Story of Watergate

Melville House. Jul. 2020. 496p. ISBN 9781612198286. $32.99. BIOG
Lawyer and investigative journalist Barron writes the first biography of prominent Greek journalist Elias Demetracopoulos (1928–2016), who is hardly a household name though he should be. Barron spent a decade working on this biography, personally knowing his subject for five years. He describes how, as a young teenager, Demetracopoulos joined the resistance movement in Greece against Nazi occupation. Eventually caught, he was tortured and only narrowly escaped execution. Then he lived through the Greek Civil War of 1946–9, followed by American involvement with the Marshall Plan during the Cold War. His life as an activist is again threatened during and after a military coup in Greece in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The author shows his subject’s relevance to the American politics as Demetracopoulos becomes entangled with the CIA and FBI while living in exile in the United States—he later learned he was being surveilled by American intelligence. Though he escaped to the United States, Demetracopoulos faced ongoing bureaucratic and deportation efforts for his reporting and efforts to clear his name as a political consultant during the Watergate era.
VERDICT Barron’s page-turner will appeal to readers interested in modern Greek history, the Cold War, and Watergate. Highly recommended.
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