General News

Nicholas Gage Presents ‘Missions from the Homeland” in Athens

December 14, 2022

ATHENS – Distinguished journalist, author, and film maker Nicholas Gage presented his new book ‘Αποστολές από την Πατρίδα’ – the title can be translated as ‘ Dispatches from the Homeland’ – on December 12 in Athens.

The auditorium of the Theocharakis Foundation was full notables, including the U.S. Ambassador to Greece George Tsunis, former Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, Mayor of Athens Kostas Bakoyannis, and the journalist Alexis Papachelas – who wrote the foreword to the book.

The book consists of insightful texts from Gage’s past writing and reporting that have been translated into Greek. They cover a wide range of topics, from the Onassis dynasty to Andreas Papandreou and Konstantinos Mitsotakis, with whom Gage had a close friendship.

The auditorium of the Theocharakis Foundation in Athens was packed with fans of author Nicholas Gage, 2nd from the right on the stage. (Photo: Kastaniotis Publishing House)

“As a journalist, I have witnessed many historical events around the world, such as the struggle for Human Rights in the United States, the Watergate scandal that forced the resignation of the only American president in history, the Islamic Revolution in Iran, and the fall of the Soviet Union. Along with these international upheavals, I have been an observer of many important situations here in Greece, some of which I write about in this book, such as the years of the Junta, the 1973 Polytechnic uprising, the restoration of democracy, the political rise of Andreas Papandreou and Alexis Tsipras, the prosecution of the 17 November assassins, and the most tragic of all, in my opinion, the Civil War in the late 1940s.”

Gage continued with emotion and his usual eloquence:

“When in 1948, as an eight-year-old child at the time, I was leaving my communist-occupied village, my mother advised me to toss a ‘black stone’ and never return to this country, where she had suffered so much in her life. This was the only advice my mother gave me that I have not followed and there are two reasons why: The first is the beauty of the country. The English writer Lawrence Darrell, after visiting Greece in 1939, wrote to his sister, ‘you should see the landscape of Greece. It would break your heart.’ That’s exactly how I feel every time I set foot in any part of my homeland. The second reason is the creative nature of the Greeks, the founders of democracy – they implemented the idea that societies do not need an autocratic leader to thrive but function better if all citizens participate in the administration of their state.

“In the eight decades of my life I have observed the ability of Greeks to suffer, to endure, to struggle, to survive…I have seen in their poetry, in their music, in their cinema and in their arts in general, their enormous ability to create and to contribute under very difficult circumstances. I have experienced their incredible way of delighting in the joys of life despite the adversity they face. An American friend of mine once said: ‘You Greeks have more fun at one wedding than we have in a lifetime.’

Left to right: U.S. Ambassador to Greece George Tsunis, Nicholas Gage, former Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras. (Photo: Kastaniotis Publishing House)

“I have also experienced the dark side of the Greek, when I was a boy during the Civil War – but I have also observed the unparalleled ability of Greeks to dream dreams and achieve them. As I approach the last years of my life, I believe that Greeks are now ready to invest in their intelligence and ingenuity and contribute to the progress of humanity in the future, as their ancestors did in the past.

“You will find in this book – and in everything else I have written about Greece – that I have witnessed many events that have shaped the history of my country over the last seventy-five years, recording with my eyes and heart wide open.”

Former Prime Minister Antonis Samaras was also present at the event and referring to the author, he said, “he has written a unique story. And he wrote it mainly for this Greece that always hurts its children. All its children. The more they love her, the more she hurts them. And yet, they always look to this homeland – they long for it and return to it. Because this is their weakness, but at the same time their strength!”


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