Cover image for Popular autocracy in Greece, 1936-41 : a political biography of general Ioannis Metaxas
Popular autocracy in Greece, 1936-41 : a political biography of general Ioannis Metaxas
Vatikiotis, P. J. (Panayiotis J.), 1928-
Publication Information:
London ; Portland, Or. : Frank Cass, 1998.
Physical Description:
xi, 223 pages ; illustrations ; 24 cm

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DF849.58.M48 V37 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



The first major political biography of General Ioannis Metaxas, who assumed dictatorial power in Greece in 1936 and oversaw the resistance to the Italian invasion in the Second World War. As a political portrait of the man, the book puts much emphasis on the early career of Metaxas and his journey to state power, from 1920 to 1936. Drawing heavily on original Greek sources, the book makes extensive use of Metaxa's diary, his correspondence, and the evidence of his close friends and associates.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Few figures in the history of modern Greece have generated more ambivalent feelings than Ioannis Metaxas, who ruled as virtual dictator from 1935 until his death in early 1941. Widely held in contempt for his rigid Teutonic rule in a land whose political tradition is normally disorderly, Metaxas's memory is redeemed because of his dramatic refusal in October 1940 to accede to the Italian demand to occupy certain strategic portions of Greece. Metaxas's well-trained army then proceeded to decimate the Italians in a brutal campaign along the Albanian frontier during the winter of 1940-41. Vatikiotis's well-researched political biography of Metaxas traces the evolution of this descendant of a famous old family from his inauspicious beginnings as a German-trained army officer, through a series of famous political conflicts in the first two decades of the 20th century, to his emergence as prime minister. His was a benevolent despotism, but Metaxas remained unpopular both then and now because, in his drive to bring efficiency to Greek life, he had robbed the Greeks of their favorite sport: vigorous party politics. The book is a sensitive, balanced insight into the 20th-century social and political forces that have confused most foreigners and even a few Greeks. Upper-division undergraduates and above. E. N. Borza emeritus, Pennsylvania State University, University Park Campus

Table of Contents

Part 1 Formative years - school, military training, cultural and political influences: origins and formative years
early military career
the 1987 Greek-Turkish Thessaly War
the European experience - the ""Berlinkriegsakadamie"" 1899-1903
Part 2 Soldiering and diplomacy - rapid professional advancement and growing political involvement, 1910-25: the Balkan Wars, 1912-13
the Great War, 1914-18
exile and return, 1917-20
entry into politics and second exile, 1920-24
the National All-Party (Ekoumeniki) gov