Andrew Manatos’ The Extraordinary Greek People

November 27, 2022

While taking a look back at all the ancient and recent triumphs of Greek people can be a daunting task, the recently published The Extraordinary Greek People: Their Remarkable Achievements and Philosophy for Living from Ancient Times to Today by Andrew E. Manatos, Founder and President of the Washington OXI Day Foundation, highlights some of the key figures, past and present, who have shaped, and continue to shape, the history of Hellenism.

According to the book’s description: “This is not only a story of the past, but also of the present— from the Golden Age of Greece to today. Filled with little known historical facts about Hellenism and the Greek people, anecdotes of what it means to be a Hellene, and an exploration of the unique Greek word ‘philotimo,’ or love of honor, that runs deep within every Hellene’s psyche.”

The book also includes a section, introduced by His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros, with personal essays by prominent Greek-Americans reflecting on how their Hellenism has impacted their success.

A charming volume, the book showcases some of the best and brightest Greeks and Greek-Americans, their achievements, and reminds readers of the true meaning of philotimo and the characteristics that have helped Greeks continue to reach for greatness even when the odds are stacked against them.

Washington Oxi Day Foundation President and Founder Andy Manatos. (Photo by Bill Petros)
Washington Oxi Day Foundation President and Founder Andy Manatos. (Photo by Bill Petros)

The contributions of Greeks to World War II with OXI Day and the resistance efforts are also featured in the book, along with the famous quotes from world leaders at the time.

Inspiring and moving stories and quotes from the essayists included in the book, make it a great gift idea for the holiday season for all ages. Among those in the book, Father Alex Karloutsos, Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, quotes from the poet Percy Shelley who “wrote, ‘We are all Greeks: our laws, our literature, our religion, our arts have their root in Greece.’ This helped me understand fully that I am not simply a Hellene or Philhellene: proudly I can say, I am both.”

California Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis shares that “in eighth grade, a student made a presentation that her family came to the U.S. on the Mayflower… it made me feel as if being the daughter of an immigrant, and part of a thick-accented Greek community, might make me less of an American. My Dad’s response: ‘You tell those kids that you are related to Aristotle, Pericles, and Plato!’”

The Libra Group chairman and CEO George Logothetis says in the book: “Freedom is written into our DNA, and the empathy and love of freedom for others. This is one of the gifts of our ancestors that we can give to the world.”

Marcus & Millichap founder and chairman George Marcus is also among those in the book, noting that: “We are all paid by the hour. You have got to put the time in. There is no other way. You might get lucky and invent something, but that’s really a long shot. Eighty to 90 percent of success is execution.”

The National Herald advisor to the publishers Antonis H. Diamataris also contributed to the volume with an essay titled ‘Our Greek Beach on the Long Island Sound.’

The Extraordinary Greek People: Their Remarkable Achievements and Philosophy for Living from Ancient Times to Today by Andrew E. Manatos is available online.


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