John Mulgan and the Greek Left, by C.-Dimitris Gounelas and Ruth Parkin-Gounelas (Te Herenga Waka University Press 20230

Neil's picture

This superbly researched book chronicles John Mulgan's activities in Greece from 1943 until his still mysterious death in a Cairo hotel in 1945, at the age of 33. It's a fascinating story, and casts new light on both Greek politics during and after the war, and Mulgan himself. He ran a resistance group in the wilds of the Roumeli region, carrying out guerrilla actions against the Nazi occupiers. This section of the group known as ELAS were largely leftists, who expected that Greece would not reinstate the king who was in exile, but instead would become a, hopefully, left leaning democracy. It was not to be, the British ran the country after the German withdrawal, and reinstated the king which lead to a destructive civil war. It's a fascinating history, Mulgan was a war hero, who, it was decided, took his own life. Questions remain, however, and until archives are fully opened, we won't know any more than we now know. This is an important book, dense wth information, but accessible.