Introduction: Perspectives on a Leader

Paschalis M. Kitromilides

in Eleftherios Venizelos

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print June 2006 | ISBN: 9780748624782
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748671267 | DOI:
Introduction: Perspectives on a Leader

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This chapter discusses the career and leadership of Eleftherios Venizelos (1864–1936). Venizelos may be considered as the most important statesman in Greek political history and the creator of contemporary Greece. Throughout his active political life and during several decades following his death Venizelos had been the object of the deepest admiration and devotion, as well as of the strongest contempt and hatred on the part of his respective followers and opponents. These feelings at times ran so high that they led to profound divisions in Greek politics. The chapter then sets out the book's main purpose, which is to present a rounded perspective on Venizelos as a Cretan revolutionary leader, as a reforming prime minister of Greece, as a European diplomat, and as a protagonist in the deep division in Greek society provoked by his modernising policies. The most significant policy areas upon which he left his mark as a statesman are also analysed.

Keywords: Eleftherios Venizelos; political life; Greek politics; statesman

Chapter.  3178 words. 

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