Greek life

Read anything good lately?

On the 6 hour ferry ride from Milos to Syros by way of Kimolos, Sifnos, Serifos & Kithnos, I finished The Full Catastrophe – Travels Among the New Greek Ruins by James Angelos, a journalist and former WSJ reporter.  His book, titled after a line from the movie Zorba the Greek, describes the longstanding corruption in Greek politics and how it helped lead to the debt crisis, the dependence Greece has on Europe (Germany in particular) and the animosity for same.  Angelos’ writing is funny – particularly in his descriptions of the people he met and interviewed, and the book goes into depth on the changes in Greece that have emerged in the wake of “the crisis,” as all Greeks call it, and not many of them are good.  The chapters on immigration and nationalization are particularly fascinating.  This is my 5th visit to Greece and this book explained much of what I’ve seen and not understood both politically and culturally.  Angelos notes, and I completely agree, that Greece remains a must-visit country.  The people are generous and kind, and the country is beautiful.  The financial and political future, and whether Greece can enact profound political change and become more self sufficient is the question that Angelos raises.  If you’re at all interested in this topic, give this book a read.  It was terrific.

 

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