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Culture

Books That Enlighten Greek-Americans About the Greek Crisis

Recently, Standard & Poor’s upgraded Greece’s credit rating from CCC+ to B- signaling a stable outlook for the nation’s economy after years of uncertainty. Several books published recently on the Greek Crisis offer perspective on the problems facing not only Greece and the European Union, but also the entire global economy. Understanding Greece’s economic plight is a complicated task to say the least. So many factors led to the crisis and so many experts, politicians, and authors have voiced their opinions on Greece and the implications of the financial crisis for the economic future of all nations, it can be difficult to truly understand how it happened, what needed and still needs to be done to prevent a future crisis, and how the people of Greece are coping. Reading a variety of sources on the subject provides the social, historical, and political background often lacking in brief news reports. Here are a few books about the Greek economic crisis to add to your reading list.

The Full Catastrophe: Travels Among the New Greek Ruins by James Angelos explores the economic crisis through the author’s own experiences visiting the villages and islands, speaking with the people, and reporting on the situation in Greece. The author presents the history and causes of the crisis along with specific stories to highlight the human toll of the economic collapse. The portrait of Greece that emerges is a complicated one as the people struggle with tradition and change.

Modern Greece: What Everyone Need to Know by Stathis Kalyvas is an in-depth look at the history and politics of the modern Greek nation. Each chapter poses a question and answers it with insight and clarity as one would expect from the award-winning Kalyvas, the Arnold Wolfers Professor of Political Science and Director of the Program on Order, Conflict, and Violence at Yale University. Released in 2015, Modern Greece is a concise 264 pages and part of the trademarked What Everyone Needs to Know series published by Oxford University Press.

The 13th Labor of Hercules: Inside the Greek Crisis by Yannis Palaiologos brings a personal perspective to the economic crisis by the author and journalist who lives and works in Athens. Palaiologos pulls no punches in delineating the mistakes that led up to the financial crisis. Highlighted by personal stories, the book first published in 2014, details the economic, social, and political issues that left Greece in a financial mess.

And the Weak Suffer What They Must? Europe’s Crisis and America’s Economic Future by Yannis Varoufakis will be released on April 12, 2016 and takes its title, partially, from a quote by the ancient Athenian historian Thucydides. The former Finance Minister of Greece has written several books on economics and game theory, including The Global Minotaur: America, Europe and the Future of the Global Economy first published in 2011 and then updated in 2013, and Europe after the Minotaur: Greece and the Future of the Global Economy, published in 2015. As many critics of Varoufakis noted, writing about economics and putting theory into practice are two very different things.

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