This work of literary nonfiction by Yannis Andricopoulos, former political journalist, author and co-founder of the legendary Skyros Holidays, takes the reader on a fascinating journey through history, politics and ideas on the strength of his own personal experiences in Greece and England, the countries he views respectively as mother and wife.
Factually accurate, the story begins with the author's experiences as a boy of the Nazi occupation of Greece and, later, of the British and US involvement in its affairs, the ensuing civil war and the following political repression. The journey continues through to the development of a powerful democratic movement and its subsequent crushing by the 1967 military dictatorship before moving on to the Andreas Papandreou 'socialist' era and the ensuing financial collapse of the country.
Meanwhile, in 1967, the author had moved as a journalist to 'swinging' London before joining the 1968 French 'revolution'. Back in London he then witnessed the collapse of the Labour movement and the rise to power of Margaret Thatcher, a woman determined 'to change the heart and soul' of the country, its culture and its temperament. Neoliberalism had suddenly become the new religion while the West entered its post-faith, post-ideology and post-everything era.
As a journalist, the author investigated many hot issues of the day and met numerous leaders including Margaret Thatcher, Indira Gandhi and Thabo Mbeki, president of South Africa.
Looking for a new, radical vision to confront the dispiriting cynicism of the times in 1979 Yannis co-founded Skyros, the holiday in which each year several hundred Europeans question and challenge our culture's assumptions and confirm their commitment to fundamental human priorities and values. In the heart of his thesis is the belief that the creation of a well-run and just world is not the job of the state but of each one of us. Politics, as Aristotle said, begins with the family.
The new world, the author argues, requires both a new civil culture founded on ethics and the reinvention of politics within some well-defined ethical parameters. His challenging life experiences combined with an enquiring mind culminated in the production of some fresh ideas to which the author remains as attached as a 'sunflower to the sun'.