|Publisher||University of Michigan Press|
|Publication Date||January 15, 1999|
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The Greek worlds of classical antiquity and Byzantine empire left a legacy of Hellenic culture throughout Asia Minor. During the nineteenth century the Greek nation fostered the idea of a resuscitated empire embracing Constantinople and Ionia, which would reclaim from the Turks what had been lost when Constantinople fell to the Ottoman invaders in 1453. The nineteenth century also saw the establishment and gradual expansion of the independent Greek kingdom, which climaxed with the Balkan Wars of 1912-13 and the incorporation of western Macedonia, Epirus and Crete. The architect of the Balkan Alliance that made these gains possible was the masterful Cretan politician, Eleftherios Venizelos.
Michael Llewellyn Smith's account of the fortunes and ultimate destruction of Venizelos's "Ionian Vision" takes the story from the years of World War I and the torturous negotiations of the Paris Peace Conference through the great battle on the Sakarya river in the summer of 1921, when the Greek will for reunion was finally broken. The book ends with the destruction of Smyrna, the evacuation of Asia Minor, and the trial and execution of the politicians held responsible for the disastrous events.
Ionian Vision chronicles a period of lasting importance in the development of the Greek nation and its view of itself. It will be of absorbing interest to all those with a curiosity about Greece and its history.
". . . an outstanding addition to the growing body of serious academic studies on the modern history of Greece . . . Llewellyn Smith's book is indispensable reading for anyone who would seek to understand the convoluted politics of Greece in the twentieth century."--New Society
Michael Llewellyn Smith is a British diplomat who has served in Moscow, Paris, Warsaw, and Athens. His most recent post is as British Ambassador in Athens. Smith is also the author of The Great Island: A Study of Crete.
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