Cyprus under British Colonial Rule: Culture, Politics, and the Movement toward Union with Greece, 1878-1954 (Hardback)
  • Cyprus under British Colonial Rule: Culture, Politics, and the Movement toward Union with Greece, 1878-1954 (Hardback)
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Cyprus under British Colonial Rule: Culture, Politics, and the Movement toward Union with Greece, 1878-1954 (Hardback)

(author)
£75.00
Hardback 356 Pages / Published: 15/01/2019
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This is a unique book that combines a political narrative with poetry to examine the role of culture and the fusion of religion and politics during the struggle against colonialism. The context is Britain's geopolitical interests in the Middle East. The author utilizes a vital cultural source echoing the authentic voice of the people, Cypriot folk poems, which has remained virtually unknown to the English reader until now. Translated into English, they are interwoven into the book's narrative to reflect the yearning for social justice and the political sentiments of the vast majority of the population, the peasants, in a rural society. Lawrence Durrell's literary masterpiece, Bitter Lemons, his politico-cultural chronicle on British-ruled Cyprus, is also discussed critically. The Greek Orthodox Church led the anti-colonial movement revolving around union with Greece. Through his intimate knowledge of Greek Orthodox practices, the author elucidates how religious customs and rituals were intertwined with the nationalist ideology to lead to political mobilization. In the process, culture, with its religious underpinnings, shaped politics. This dynamic has been the case from the Middle East, Turkey and North Africa, to Eurasia and South East Asia. Prime examples are the Iranian revolution and the more recent Arab Spring, both of which caught the West by surprise. In Cyprus, the British, with their sense of superiority, remained alien to the local culture and discounted popular sentiment. The two rebellions that ensued caught Britain totally by surprise. This is a valuable case study on the convergence of religion and politics. Academics, students and non-specialists will find a captivating narrative on Britain's colonial encounter in an idyllic but strategic island in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Publisher: Lexington Books
ISBN: 9781498582025
Number of pages: 356
Dimensions: 229 x 152 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
This is a most impressive and thorough work on British colonialism in Cyprus. Christos P. Ioannides writes with the literary skills of a novelist, the in-depth and profound understanding of a native son, and the dispassionate objectivity of a mature and seasoned scholar. This study is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand the cultural and historical forces that led to the violent rebellion of Greek Cypriots against British rule during the 1950s. It is destined to remain the definitive work on British colonialism in Cyprus for many years to come. -- Kyriacos C. Markides, University of Maine
This book is the product of exhaustive work and an admirable reflection of the author's Hellenic and American education, deep knowledge of Cypriot history, and extensive field research in Cyprus, Iran and elsewhere in the Middle East. Drawing on church teachings, folkloric traditions, and other forms of cultural expression, Christos P. Ioannides demonstrates that the Cypriot struggle for Enosis was an outgrowth of Greek irredentism aiming to liberate unredeemed Hellenes. Informed and led by the Orthodox Church, the anti-colonial campaign was fuelled by a fusion of religious-based culture and liberation ideology. The British remained alien to Greek Orthodox culture and dismissed the Enosis movement as an urban phenomenon lacking support among the rural masses, the same way the Americans failed to see the interweaving of religion and politics in Iran a few decades later. Ioannides' work shows that the intersection of culture and politics can be a formidable engine of nationalism and revolution. -- Constantine P. Danopoulos, San Jose State University

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