The Greek Revolution: 1821 and the Making of Modern Europe

Penguin Pr. Nov. 2021. 608p. ISBN 9781591847335. $35. HIST
Mazower (history, Columbia Univ.; The Balkans) provides a detailed examination of the Greek quest for independence from the Ottoman Empire during the first portion of the 19th century. The book covers the remarkable journey of Greece’s revolution, beginning with the Filiki Etaireia society in the early 19th century and concluding with the opening of the Acropolis as a site for visitors in 1835. The history includes the full transformation of Greece from a land under the rule of the Ottomans to a new nation with its own parliament. Mazower discusses complex social issues, like the question of which people thought of themselves as Greeks, and the relationship between a wider “Greek” identity and the Orthodox Christians of various ethnicities in 19th-century Eastern Europe Mazower also delves into the complicated politics of the latter Ottoman Empire and its own frictions. His writing is detailed and scholarly throughout.
VERDICT Mazower contextualizes a major transformation in 19th-century Eastern Europe for readers of European history and provides a solid background of modern Greece for students of ancient history.
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