• Cambridge Scholars Publishing

    "[Second Thoughts on Capitalism and the State is a] profoundly reflective book shows a pathway forward for academics and activists alike who are stymied by the disconnect between deep critical scholarship and emancipatory social change, yet who will still not give up the good fight."

    - Professor Diane E. Davis, Harvard University

A Pacifist's Life and Death: Grigorios Lambrakis and Greece in the Long Shadow of Civil War

The shadow of a man standing on the back of a three-wheel pickup truck and smashing with a club the head of another man without the police even pretending to chase the killers was to haunt Greeks for many years. With hindsight, it seemed uncannily like a foretaste of what awaited Greece when the Junta stepped in on April 1967, and put a brutal end to all its democratic illusions. Using written and oral evidence, this book weaves a narrative of the life and death of Grigorios Lambrakis: athletic champion, doctor, politician and Greece’s most committed defender of democracy and peace of the post-Civil War period. It surveys the destiny of a people at key historical junctures, probes their abiding political divisions, the obstacles in asserting peace in the shadow of Civil and Cold War, and traces the origins of the deep state and paramilitarism. It shows how, as the all-consuming fear of Communism intensified, these phenomena were able to entrench themselves, gain ever more autonomy, and eventually preside over the murder of a member of parliament. In addition, the book places under the microscope what Mikis Theodorakis once called ‘the Middle Ages of Karamanlis’, namely a regime whose baleful contradictions became fertile ground for total anomie: a situation devastatingly laid bare to the world by this murder and the investigation that followed.


Evi Gkotzaridis is a historian with interests in 20th century Greek and contemporary Irish history. She was born in Salonica, raised in Paris, educated at the Sorbonne, and holds a PhD in Irish History and Politics. She lived for six years in Dublin, where she held a Government of Ireland Research Fellowship. She was a Jean Monnet Research Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence. She has taught in London, Dublin, Florence, Istanbul and Athens. Her first book, Trials of Irish History: Genesis and Evolution of a Reappraisal, was published by Routledge and represented the first synthesis on the sensitive topic of revisionist scholarship in Ireland. It examined its methodological, theoretical and political implications, and introduced a European dimension to a too-often insular debate on its pros and cons. She lives and teaches in Athens. A Pacifist’s Life and Death is her first book on Greece.

"People shape history and yet they are also shaped by it at the same time. This simple truth is brought home to us once again by this biography of Grigoris Lambrakis, by historian Evi Gkotzaridis which was published recently in English by Cambridge Scholars Publishing. By recounting the life of the left-wing Greek deputy as a constant interaction with the turbulent developments of the time, the book deals exhaustively with the description of the latter, stressing in particular all those aspects of post-war Greek reality less known to the international readership but which proved decisive to the evolution and the biological end of the subject: a strong police state, a stifling control of parliamentary life, a close monitoring of the country by the former Allies, and the systematic abetment of a fascist deep state with the purpose of suppressing the internal enemy via illegal methods. While it engages critically with his first biography, written by Konidi Porfyris immediately after his death, this new study significantly enriches what we know about this emblematic figure of the progressive movement in the post-Civil War period with the use of unpublished excerpts from his personal diary, interviews with relatives and additional archival material drawn from various sources."

Tasos Kostopoulos esfyn.gr, 18.06.2017

"This is not a book for the faint-hearted goody-goody ‘draw-a-line-under-it’ brigade, since it deals with a subject that the gung-ho extreme right-wing part of the Greek Establishment would like to be forgotten, namely the murder of Grigoris Lambrakis, a Left-inclined Olympian athlete and medical doctor and teacher who became a Member of the Greek Parliament in 1961, despite widespread electoral fraud and intimidation by the Trumanesque Greek authorities. The author’s passion is clear: her grandfather was murdered in the Greek Civil War, while her father went into self-imposed exile in Paris to avoid being forced to become an informer for the Greek Junta’s police. Yet she manages to detach herself sufficiently to have undertaken wide-ranging research into the environment that led to the brutal killing of Lambrakis. This is a painstakingly written book, in a positive sense, with a wide range of sources consulted, as befits a serious historian. A list of abbreviations and a summary of key dates and events would have made it more reader-friendly, but that does not detract from this brave attempt to deal with a subject still considered taboo by much of the Greek Establishment, and to remind us of the importance of being vigilant to protect the flawed democracy that still exists in Greece. Serious students of Greece should read the book."

— Professor William Mallinson, Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies, 2018

Buy This Book

ISBN: 1-4438-8552-5

ISBN13: 978-1-4438-8552-2

Release Date: 9th June 2016

Pages: 390

Price: £52.99

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ISBN: 1-5275-1655-5

ISBN13: 978-1-5275-1655-7

Release Date: 31st October 2018

Pages: 438

Price: £39.99

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