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Gifted Greek: The Enigma of Andreas Papandreou

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Gifted Greek is a reflection on twentieth-century Greek history and politics, as well as a character study of its first socialist prime minister, Andreas Papandreou. Monteagle Stearns witnessed the transformation of Papandreou from an affable American economist to a stormy, anti-American Greek, over Stearns’s three diplomatic assignments to Athens, the last as a U.S. ambassador.

The unresolved dispute over how and by whom Greece should be governed parallels the equally unresolved issues between Papandreou and his estranged father, George. Andreas, who left Greece in 1940, became a naturalized American citizen and a twenty-year resident of the United States. In contrast, George was thoroughly Greek: a flamboyant, republican-leaning politician, a one-time prime minister, and a perennial leader of Greece’s Liberal Party.

Stearns arrived in Athens as a diplomat in early 1958, in the thick of Greece’s political turmoil. Over the next five years, he came to know first George Papandreou and then his son, Andreas. As neighbors in suburban Athens, as fellow Americans, and as like-minded critics of the problems still afflicting postwar Greece, Stearns and Andreas quickly established a warm friendship. Over the decades, however, that friendship was tested and frayed. Gifted Greek is a reflection on the Cold War era, on its impact on Greece, and on Andreas himself—whose dual nature had long fascinated the author and led to this account of their curiously entwined professional and personal lives.

Author: Stearns Monteagle
Pages: 184
ISBN: 9781640123298
Cover: Hardback
Edition Number: 1
Release Year: 2021

List of Illustrations    
Foreword by Antonia R. Stearns    
1. The Past Is Never the Past    
2. Building a Future    
3. Personal and Postwar Developments    
4. Romance and Return    
5. The Years of Our Greek Experience    
6. Crises Everywhere    
7. The Post-Junta Scene    
8. Prime Time    

Monteagle Stearns (1924–2016) was an American diplomat and a U.S. ambassador to Greece. He is the author of Entangled Allies: U.S. Policy toward Greece, Turkey, and Cyprus and Talking to Strangers: American Diplomacy at Home and Abroad.

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