Athanasios Souliotis-Nikolaidis (1878–1945) was a Greek military officer, undercover agent, author, and politician who in Greece today is not as well-known as he should be. Inasmuch as he is remembered at all today, Souliotis-Nikolaidis is associated with the much better-known Ion Dragoumis, with whom he was connected through bonds of friendship and ideology. In
Athanasios Souliotis-Nikolaidis and Greek Irredentism: A Life in the Shadows, John Athanasios Mazisexamines the subject's contribution to Greece's irredentist activities of the early twentieth century, and answers some key questions: What were Souliotis-Nikolaidis's achievements as an undercover agent in Ottoman Macedonia? What was his behind-the-scenes role in the early elections of the Ottoman Empire, following the Young Turk Revolt? What was his relationship with important individuals and organizations of the Greek Diaspora? What was his contribution to the unique idea about the future of Greeks and Turks in a unified federal state? In this book, Mazis reveals that Souliotis-Nikolaidis, far from being a minor player in Greek irredentism, was an important actor whose many contributions deserve recognition.
John Athanasios Mazis is professor of history at Hamline University.
AcknowledgmentsIntroduction1: The End of The Line2: Greece at the Dawn of the 20th Century3: The Ordinary Life of an Obscure Army Officer4: Cloak and Dagger in the Balkans5: Cloak and Dagger in Constantinople6: Friends and Intellectual Partners7: The Life of Athanasios Souliotis-Nikolaidis8: Last Services Rendered9: Some Final ThoughtsAppendix: Further Reading
Works CitedAbout the Author
This book is the result of an admirable research and a rich understanding of contemporary history. Mazis brings to the fore not only a rather neglected person of modern and contemporary Greek history, but a whole ideological and intellectual trend that was ready to discuss the Greeks’ place in the modern world, sometimes with a saliently provocative manner regarding options and dilemmas. More than that, Mazis points to interactions with developments and trends in the Balkans, the Near East, and Europe, at the same time explaining evolutions, breaks, and continuities. Last but not least, this is a well-written book, able to attract and maintain the reader’s constant interest, something particularly valuable in our contemporary scholarly communities.
Mazis has successfully brought the life and activities of Athanasios Souliotis-Nikolaidis to the attention of scholars of modern Greece and, by doing so, has further illuminated the turbulent and tumultuous years that prevailed at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries in the Balkans. A seemingly insignificant figure who lived in the shadows of his more well-known friend, Ion Dragoumis, Souliotis-Nikolaidis—as a military officer, undercover agent, and Greek patriot—actually made numerous important contributions, as a man of action and ideas, to realize the small Greek state’s irredentist dreams.
This is a book about a historical figure, largely ignored by the history books. Although never in the foreground, Souliotis-Nikolaidis played a crucial role in Greece's struggle to prevail in Ottoman Macedonia over the rival ambitions of Serbia and Bulgaria, during the critical decadeleading to the First World War. By tracing the activities of its main character, the book illuminates the ‘cloak and dagger’ aspects of this rivalry. It is also valuable for the study of the roots of authoritarianism in twentieth-century Europe as it examines Nikolaidis's proto-facsist ideas and writings. Clearly written, informative, and relatively short, it is warmly recommended for specialists and the general public.