This is the best attempt yet at penetrating the mysteries of Soviet policy in Greece during the tangle of local politics, Balkan rivalries and great-power strategies that marked the closing phases of World War II and the opening phases of the Cold War. Using Greek communist sources to supplement recently opened British and American documents, plus all available memoirs, Stavrakis constructs a very plausible account of what Stalin was up to at each stage of the on-again, off-again civil war. The primary Soviet material is of course unavailable and there remain areas of uncertainty-the Stalin-Tito relationship or the place of the Slav-Macedonian movement in northern Greece in the calculations of various players-questions the author fills in rather too confidently with firm conclusions. But the book stands as a fine work of research.
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