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Children of the Dictatorship: Student Resistance, Cultural Politics and the 'Long 1960s' in Greece

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Volume 10

Protest, Culture & Society

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Children of the Dictatorship

Student Resistance, Cultural Politics and the 'Long 1960s' in Greece

Kostis Kornetis

392 pages, 33 figures, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78238-000-9 $145.00/£107.00 / Hb / Published (November 2013)

ISBN  978-1-78533-033-9 $34.95/£27.95 / Pb / Published (November 2015)

eISBN 978-1-78238-001-6 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit  Buy the eBook! $29.95info on epub formatRequest a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®

Winner of the 2015 Keeley Book Prize of the Modern Greek Studies Association


“This long-anticipated… publication signals the beginning of a potentially fruitful and certainly long overdue examination of the 1960s and 1970s in Greece. After so many years of discussions and debates on the Greek Civil War, the time for a careful consideration of the junta and its afterlife seems to have finally come. Kornetis offers an enormously productive entry point by exploring the issue that is analytically most central and socially most sensitive concerning this period: resistance and its counterpart, complicity. For anyone with an interest in the period or in the broad range of theoretical issues raised by its study, Children of the Dictatorship is an indispensible book that is sure to anchor future discussion and debate of the military regime.” · Journal of Modern Greek Studies

“There is no doubt that Kostis Kornetis’s monograph is a pioneering work, the result of pathbreaking research on a subject little known to an English readership. But even for a Greek readership, especially Greek scholars and readers familiar with the subject, it is thought-provoking, challenging established views and myths regarding this historical period in Greece.” · Journal of Modern History

“…an important and timely book… on a topic that has been overlooked for too long; Kornetis engages with a very productive methodology, and he manages to elucidate a process that, although it appears intuitive, is actually very complex. I will be using this book for both undergraduate and graduate classes, and I will be going back to its material for a long time to come. Read it; it is a gem.” · The Oral History Review

“One cannot help to admire how Kornetis traces changes in the production and distribution of music, literature and non-fiction books, theatre and film as well as changes in lifestyle and gender relations. Moreover, he links such changes with the increasing radicalism of students and with the windows of opportunity for political mobilization that the Colonels’ regime opened, alternatively experimenting with liberalization and oppression, until its demise in July 1974. Kornetis, writing as a mature academic already in his first monograph, reconstructs the linkages between culture and politics of the 1967–1974 era and knows how to tell a good story too.” · Southeast European and Black Sea Studies

“What is of great significance is the fact that a comparative perspective is adopted at times, which gives Kornetis the opportunity to avoid an ethnocentric interpretation of events… Kornetis manages to offer a book of the highest standards. It is an impressive work that represents a genuinely innovative and well-balanced contribution not only to the field of Modern Greek history, but also to social and student movements.” · Political Studies

“Kornetis’ book breaks new ground because it is the first systematic attempt to historicise the student movement under the dictatorship. By using a variety of sources, he carefully reconstructs the historical events and discusses in depth the students’ experience and memory of their political engagement in different instances… indispensable for all scholars of the 1960s.” · Historein

“Kornetis makes a valuable contribution by providing a deeper understanding of the repertoires of protest activity at the time, as well as a better grasp of the ones that followed… provides a useful and original analysis for anyone who wants to understand the demise of authoritarianism in the European South in the mid-1970s and the origins of the Metapolitefsi period in Greece.” · American Historical Review

“The book is a pioneer study in its field. Besides offering a rigorous historical reconstruction, it presents an excellent analysis of the relationship between institutional and contentious politics through different regimes and periods. The book offers a clear historical reconstruction and an innovative theoretical reflection. For this, it might be an interesting reading not only for experts – students, scholars, or journalists – but also for a more general public interested in such events.” · Democratization

“This is a well-written and concise book that fills a lacuna in English-speaking literature on the 1960s and 1970s in Greece. It critically reconstructs the spirit of that age through the individual stories that Kornetis managed to collect—a difficult task since many key personalities of the student movement remain silent while its grassroots militants have internalized the Revolt as a trauma. Kornetis skillfully analyses the cultural saga that promoted the radicalization of the Polytechnic generation.” · Journal of Contemporary European Studies

“Kornetis convincingly argues in favor of placing the Greek case and, by extension, the Spanish and Portuguese ones, within the framework of the protest cycle of the ‘long sixties.’ The author rejects exceptionalism and proposes a more nuanced approach, according to which one should retain both the differences and similarities of national cases, keeping at the same time an eye on their interconnectedness and the emergence of processes of contagion on a global scale. Therefore, Children of the Dictatorship is of definite interest and its translation to Spanish or Portuguese is more than desirable.” · Segle XX. Revista catalana d’història

“This book constitutes the political and intellectual biography of what is schematically call ‘Polytechnic Generation.’ The author looks at both the actual events and their protagonists and captures the interconnection between private ‘micro-history’ and ‘grand’ political events.” · Epistimi kai Koinonia

“Kostis Kornetis’ book on the Greek student movement of the 1960s demonstrates masterfully how mass education and the corresponding lack of job prospects for new graduates in an underdeveloped country, rather than helping to homogenize a student body supposedly united by shared circumstances, instead exacerbated its differences.” · European Journal of Turkish Studies

“Kornetis’s approach, beyond its originality and the sheer number of sources that it uses, offers insights into this generation and its historic role through the questions posed by a younger scholar with no personal involvement in this meaningful and highly charged period. The book’s empirical research delightfully captures the era’s historical context, providing at the same time a guide to the organizational and ideological contours of each student group.” · Anagnoseis

“…[A]n outstanding political, social, and cultural history of youthful opposition to the Greek military dictatorship. It is thoroughly researched, thoughtfully crafted, theoretically rich, and beautifully written. It will immediately be an important text for those studying the global history of the 1960s, international manifestations of a new youth culture that emerged in the last third of the twentieth century, and the history of modern Greece.” · James N. Green, Brown University

“This is the first book in English that presents the history of the Greek youth that staged the most spectacular resistance to the 1967-1974 dictatorship, the ‘Polytechnic’ generation. Kornetis manages to contextualize the Greek youth movement within the cultural and political movements of the ‘Long 1960s,’ without losing touch with the specificity of the Greek sociopolitical developments.” · Dimitris Papanikolaou, St. Cross College, Oxford

“[A] signal contribution to the fields of the history of the ‘Long 1960s’ as well as of protest research in Europe.” · Nikolaos Papadogiannis, Humboldt University, Berlin


Putting Greece back on the cultural and political map of the “Long 1960s,” this book traces the dissent and activism of anti-regime students during the dictatorship of the Colonels (1967-74). It explores the cultural as well as ideological protest of Greek student activists, illustrating how these “children of the dictatorship” managed to re-appropriate indigenous folk tradition for their “progressive” purposes and how their transnational exchange molded a particular local protest culture. It examines how the students’ social and political practices became a major source of pressure on the Colonels’ regime, finding its apogee in the three day Polytechnic uprising of November 1973 which laid the foundations for a total reshaping of Greek political culture in the following decades. 

Kostis Kornetis is Assistant Professor at the Center for European and Mediterranean Studies at New York University. He received his PhD in History and Civilization from the European University Institute, Florence. From 2007 to 2012 he taught in the History Department at Brown University. His research focuses on the history and memory of the 1960s, the methodology of oral history, and the use of film as a source for social and cultural history.

Subject: History: 20th Century to PresentCultural Studies (General)Sociology
Area: Southern Europe


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