The United States and the Making of Modern Greece: History and Power, 1950-1974

The United States and the Making of Modern Greece: History and Power, 1950-1974

The United States and the Making of Modern Greece: History and Power, 1950-1974

The United States and the Making of Modern Greece: History and Power, 1950-1974

Synopsis

Focusing on one of the most dramatic and controversial periods in modern Greek history and in the history of the Cold War, James Edward Miller provides the first study to employ a wide range of international archives American, Greek, English, and French together with foreign language publications to shed light on the role the United States played in Greece between the termination of its civil war in 1949 and Turkey's 1974 invasion of Cyprus.

Miller demonstrates how U. S. officials sought, over a period of twenty-five years, to cultivate Greece as a strategic Cold War ally in order to check the spread of Soviet influence. The United States supported Greece's government through large-scale military aid, major investment of capital, and intermittent efforts to reform the political system. Miller examines the ways in which American and Greek officials cooperated in and struggled over the political future and the modernization of the country. Throughout, he evaluates the actions of the key figures involved, from George Papandreou and his son Andreas, to King Constantine, and from John Foster Dulles and Dwight D. Eisenhower to Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger.

Miller's engaging study offers a nuanced and well-balanced assessment of events that still influence Mediterranean politics today.

Excerpt

Sine ira et studio.
— Tacitus, Annals, 1.1

At the end of World War II the United States emerged as the hegemonic power in Western Europe and the Mediterranean basin. This ironic, although not entirely unpredicted, outcome to the European civil war of 1914–45 was an impressive display of the extent and diversity of the sources of American power. Never before had one society enjoyed such an overwhelming dominance in so many key areas of human endeavor. The United States, by virtue of its technology, its industrial base, its cultural creativity, its free institutions, and its capacity to absorb ideas, manpower, and output from other societies, spent the next half century expanding its role as the central player in international afairs. Because of the seamless integration of its various types of power—from the “hard” power of military force symbolized by nuclear bombs to the “soft” power of its culture—into a mutually supporting structure, the United States built upon success while shaking of the efects of bad policy decisions and negative internal and external events.

In securing a predominant role in international afairs, the United States has followed a political strategy laid out in Lampedusa's novel Il Gattopardo (The Leopard, 1958): “In order for things to remain the same they have to change.” American hegemony, the critical objective, has been promoted by a conscious efort to foster change in other societies. In the immediate aftermath of World War II, the United States utilized such programs as the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan, such organizations as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the General Agreement on Tarifs and Trade (GATT), and the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) to foster economic, military, and political integration and to raise standards of living among its allies. Modernization was a key element in the U.S. strategy to defend itself against the threat posed by its great power rival, the Soviet Union, and allied national communist parties.1 To a large extent this strategy worked. The recovery of Europe's economy strengthened America's by creating a pole of trade, investment, and technological exchange. The integration process, a creative and remarkable European response to both ad-

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