February 28, 2024

In Andreas Papandreou: The Making of a Greek Democrat and Political Maverick (I.B. Tauris, 256 pages, $49 and £30), Stan Draenos depicts a person torn between nationwide identities, educational or political careers and a fancy relationship together with his widespread politician father. The quandaries of Papandreou (1919-96) are proficiently interwoven into the political context involving america and Greece in the course of the Chilly Conflict. Draenos, who holds a PhD in Political Science from the College of York (Toronto), tells me Papandreou himself ultimately responded in a questionnaire: “My first curiosity was motion, politics.” If he couldn’t do this he can be a tutorial, and failing that, “he would go crusing.”

Specializing in the early years of Andreas’ life, Andreas Papandreou is a fluidly written tour de drive that may be reviewed from varied angles. Due to the Truman Doctrine, arrange in 1947 initially to assist Greece and Turkey in containing the Soviet Union, American hardliners had a big impact on the Greek monarchy, army and on the getting old George Papandreou, Andreas’ ideologically centrist father who might preserve the communists at bay. In reality, within the 1966 elections, in opposition to his son’s needs George labored with Palatial and American forces and solid hyperlinks with the dominant-right wing occasion, which was adopted by the U.S.-backed coup d’état.

When analyzing Andreas’ choices, together with his rift together with his compromising father within the mid-Sixties, one enters the realm of psychobiography. Draenos, who labored as a historian for quite a few years on the Andreas Papandreou Basis and knew the previous prime minister personally, clearly is aware of that on this thorny space of scrutinizing “psyches” the historian should keep on with details and keep away from hypothesis.

His witnessing the impotence of the resistance motion in opposition to fascism in Greece as a youth could have been one of many components that led Andreas to immigrate to america. There have been additionally different “painful, unresolved conflicts,” the biographer notes, with out going any additional. Andreas devoted himself to a profitable educational profession, applauded by intellectuals similar to John Kenneth Galbraith. He grew to become a naturalized American in 1944, and his marriage to the American Margaret Chant cemented his new nationwide id. Two years previous to the marriage, Andreas instructed her he felt “nostalgia [for Greece], however no want to return.”

Whereas chairing a division on the College of California at Berkeley, it will turn into clear that Andreas was, in reality, the political “man of motion” he had at first not wished to turn into. In accordance with a legislation handed in 1950, all professors within the State of California needed to signal an anti-Communist loyalty doc, which included a clause requiring them to tell on their college students’ political proclivities. Andreas managed to cope with the reactionary legislators whereas supporting his colleagues who had been fired and regained their jobs through authorized actions. In the meantime, Andreas himself voted in opposition to the legislation. Like his father, he confirmed his true colours as a pragmatist; however in contrast to George Papandreou, the son was no average.

Draenos recollects how George clearly acknowledged his assist for the Truman Doctrine in an article printed by the journal Overseas Affairs. Andreas, for his half, by no means spoke formally in regards to the matter, however when he first voted in a U.S. presidential election in 1948 his candidate was the left-wing Henry Wallace, who stop the Truman cupboard exactly as a result of he opposed the Truman Doctrine. Nonetheless, whereas getting U.S. analysis grants to check the waters, unconsciously or consciously, and presumably enter Greek politics, Andreas selected to observe a extra pragmatic average stance for not less than two obvious causes.

Firstly, he needed to match the American Authorities’s notion of him: Andreas was an American who might change his father’s management of the Heart Union. Secondly, he was the son of the grandfather of Greek politics, “an object of [Andreas’] devotion,” but in addition a “combined blessing,” or, in different phrases, “a rival to eclipse in addition to mannequin to emulate.” As anticipated, there have been jealousies. Konstantinos Mitsotakis, a future premier who anticipated to be George Papandreou’s successor, described Andreas as an “arriviste” who was “exploiting his father.” Some referred to as him an American, whereas others suspected he was additionally a CIA spy.

However consistent with Greek’s patriarchal society, George, who had at all times seen his son as the proper filial successor as head of the dynasty he had established, tried to lure him again from america. We uncover an emotional man, vulnerable to psychosomatic signs associated to a tough previous in his nation of delivery. In 1953, as an illustration, Andreas suffered horrible jaw pains following a household reunion in Athens. On different events he had intestinal situations and even a life-threatening illness.

Following his father’s election as premier, in 1964 Andreas was elected to parliament and have become assistant prime minister. He returned his American passport and altered his narrative, elevating fears he was changing into too distant politically from his father’s centrists politics. Considered one of Andreas’ signature slogans was “Greece for the Greeks,” which appeared to make sense in a rustic that had been underneath first British after which American tutelage since World Conflict II.

Andreas’ “social-reform oriented nationalism,” argues Draenos, was additionally in tune together with his instances, since a whole bunch of 1000’s of Greeks had been leaving the nation, the place “a way of alienation” prevailed. Andreas’ new discourse, which helped him return to his Greek roots, included the Forties’ resistant communist militants who had been excluded from the conservative institution’s narrative. Today, when the reactionary group Golden Daybreak, which has members within the Greek Parliament, makes use of the identical phrases to incite the beating up of foreigners, Andreas’ slogan sounds inappropriate. Sadly, nationalism has turn into a drive of an extremist group.

Ultimately, Andreas was to not be the “American” associate in the course of the Chilly Conflict. He opposed the U.S. plan of dividing Cyprus between Greeks and Turks, and, whereas a nationalist, he sensibly believed that, as Draenos tells me, “the perfect curiosity of Hellenism was to maintain Cyprus impartial and united.” Additionally, in seeing the intervention of the Greek institution and the American Authorities as the true threats – fairly than an alliance with the communists -, Andreas revealed himself to not be the son George had anticipated to switch him.

Andreas was, as Draenos places it, “a person of future.” In Gramscian phrases, the previous premier was the “charismatic man” who seems when the hegemonic ruling class is not trusted by its residents. In 1974, he based the primary Social Democratic occasion in Greece, the influential PASOK. He was the primary Socialist premier, elected in 1981.