He was one of the most fascinating figures in 20th-century political history. Yet today, Elias Demetracopoulos is strangely overlooked–even though his life reads like an epic adventure story . . .
As a precocious twelve-year-old in occupied Athens, he engaged in heroic resistance efforts against the Nazis, for which he was imprisoned and tortured. After his life was miraculously spared, he became an investigative journalist, covering Greece’s tumultuous politics and America’s increasing influence in the region. A clever and scoop-hungry reporter, Elias soon gained access to powerful figures in both governments . . . and attracted many enemies. When the Greek military dictatorship took power in 1967, he narrowly escaped to Washington DC, where he would lead the fight to restore democracy in his homeland–while running afoul of the American government, too.
Now, after a decade of research and original reporting, James H. Barron uncovers the story of a man whose tireless pursuit of uncomfortable truths would put him at odds with not only his own government, but that of the Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter and Reagan administrations, making him a target of CIA, FBI, and State Department surveillance and harassment–and Greek kidnapping and assassination plots American authorities may have purposefully overlooked.
A stunning feat of biographic storytelling, sweeping from World War II to the Cold War, Watergate and beyond, The Greek Connection is about a lifetime of standing up for democracy and a free press against powerful special interests. It has much to teach us about our own era’s abuses of power, dark money, journalist intimidation, and foreign interference in elections.
James H. Barron is a journalist, attorney, and founding advisory board member of the New England Center for Investigative Reporting. A creator of the award-winning International Boston Initiative and Atlantic Rim Network, he has taught courses at MIT, led study groups at Harvard's Institute of Politics, and lectured at universities in Paris and Tokyo. Barron lives in Massachusetts with his wife, journalist Marjorie Arons-Barron.