Modern Greece
by Elaine Thomopoulos, Editor
November 2021, 401pp, 7x10
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-5491-0
$100, £75, 87€, A136
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-5492-7
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

A superstition that still exists in Greece is the mati (evil eye): the power of a jealous person to harm someone with just a glance in their direction. Wearing a blue-eyed charm wards off the mati.

This volume provides an overview of the history of Greece, while also focusing on contemporary Greece. Coverage includes such 21st-century challenges as the economic crisis and the influx of immigrants and refugees that is changing the country's character.

This latest volume in the Understanding Modern Nations series explores Greece, the birthplace of democracy and Western philosophical ideas.

This thematic encyclopedia is one-of-its kind in its down-to-earth approach and comprehensive analysis of complex issues now facing Greece. It analyzes such topics as government and economics without jargon and brings a lighthearted approach to chapters on such topics as etiquette (e.g., what gestures to avoid so as not to offend), leisure (how Greeks celebrate holidays), and language (the meaning of “opa”). No other book on Greece is organized like this thematic encyclopedia, which has more than 200 entries on topics ranging from Archimedes to refugees. Unique to this encyclopedia is a “Day in the Life” section that explores the actions and thoughts of a high school student, a bank employee, a farmer in a small village, and a retired couple, giving readers a vivid snapshot of life in Greece.


  • "Day in the Life" features portray the specific daily activities of various people in Greece, from teenagers to working adults in different fields, thereby providing readers with insight into daily life in the country
  • Key terms related to the reading are defined in a Glossary appendix
  • A chart of national holidays provides at-a-glance information about Greece's important religious and secular holidays
  • Photos and sidebars illuminate the text, helping to illustrate key topics and allow students to dive more deeply into ideas
  • Sidebars provide fun facts and anecdotal information that help to engage readers
Elaine Thomopoulos, PhD, an independent scholar, wrote Greenwood's History of Greece. She edited Greek-American Pioneer Women of Illinois and wrote three books about local Michigan history. Her articles about Greece and the Greek American experience have appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines, and journals. She served as managing editor and contributor to "Books" and "Greek American Scientists," supplements of The National Herald, a Greek American newspaper. She was also director of the multi-year project "The Greeks of Berrien County, Michigan" and curator of the Greek Museum of Berrien County, Michigan.


"A valuable resource, ideal for students doing research or general readers interested in knowing more about Greece, both its current state and its history."—Library Journal, February 1, 2022

"A must read."—New Buffalo Times, March 3, 2022

"There’s something here for the Greek who’s well-versed on their culture or who wants to learn, as well as interested people of other backgrounds, and those studying Greece. With 401 pages, you’ll reference this book for years to come. Add this one to your collection."—My Greek Books by Maria A. Karamitsos, March 1, 2022

"A welcome addition to any library on Modern Greece."—Kosta Dalageorgas, November 23, 2021

Modern Greece is a timely, practical, well-written, and attractive portrait of a country with a great tradition of science and civilization.—Evaggelos Vallianatos, Ph.D., historian, environmental theorist, and author of hundreds of articles and seven books, including, The Antikythera Mechanism: The Story Behind the Genius of the Greek Computer and its Demise (Universal Publishers, 2021).

Understanding Modern Nations

The Understanding Modern Nations series profiles individual nations that are of interest to high school students and undergraduates, focusing on countries that are often studied in school as well as countries that have made major headlines in recent years.

With coverage of topics such as geography, history, politics and government, economy, society, culture, social media, pop culture, and personal accounts of daily life, these volumes serve as ideal resources for students of geography, social studies, anthropology, political science, and more. Additional topics examine religion, social classes and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, education, language, etiquette, literature and drama, art and architecture, music and dance, food, and leisure and sport.

General overviews of each topic provide students with a basic foundation on the subject, and entries pertaining to the topic—such as biographies of significant people in the field, iconic events, and key ideas—follow each overview. Sidebars and photos, facts and figures that are integral to better understanding the countries, a glossary of key terms, and a holidays chart round out the coverage in each of these accessible, engaging volumes.
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