Trying to create a cogent narrative of the experience of perpetual resistance to the state has been a challenge both because of the trenchant critique that my generation of scholars has articulated against the production of grand and seamless narratives and because of the ethical impossibilities of forcing such a narrative onto this experience. What I have tried to do, both epistemologically and ethically, is to lay open its seemingly endless layers, where what appears as stable at one level collapses under its own weight at another level. In this attempt I have turned to the wisdom of others, who have generously agreed to lend me their eyes and ears, and to act as sounding boards for my ideas. I am grateful to each and every person who has lent me his or her thoughts and criticisms in the long time that it has taken me to complete this project.
First of all, I owe everything to the people who talked to me about their own histories in the long twentieth century. In some cases I have promised them anonymity, so I can only thank them here in this manner, knowing that they know I know my indebtedness to them. Others allowed me to use their names, so deep thanks go to Antonis Liakos, Stergios Katsaros, Titos Patrikios, Vardis Vardinogiannis, Yiannis Papadopoulos, Mimis Beis, Giorgos Angelakopoulos, Apostolos Papageorgiou, Thymios Karagiannakidis, Mimis Gourgouris, Fotis Provatas, Yiannis Reggas, Dimosthenes Dodos, Sotiris Vogiatzis, Othon Iliopoulos, Aleksa Djilas, Hara Tzavella-Evjen, Katerina Tsoucala. How can one thank one's parents? But I do want to thank my mother Demetra Tsakalou and my late father Konstantinos Panourgias, who died in October 2007, as this book was being submitted to the publisher, having endured eleven years of cancer and other hideously debilitating attendant diseases.
I could not have asked for a more supportive department than the one created by my colleagues at Columbia University. I want to thank especially Lila Abu-Lughod, Partha Chatterjee, Valentine Daniel, Nicholas Dirks, Claudio Lomnitz, Mahmood Mamdani, Brinkley Messick, Elisabeth Povinelli, David Scott, Lesley Sharp, Michael Taussig, and Paige West, who read or discussed my work with me and provided invaluable feedback. Columbia colleagues and friends, in general, have been more than kind with their time and energies in responding to my queries and requests for comments, either institutionally or personally, by inviting me to speak at or be affiliated with the various fora that fall under their care. I have presented material from this book at the Modern Greek Studies University Seminar, the University Seminar on Memory, the Harriman Institute, the European Institute, and the Institute of Comparative Literature and Society Seminar Series (previously CCLS). I want to thank those who invited me and everyone who participated in those seminars and offered comments, especially Vangelis Calotychos at the Seminar on Modern Greek Studies and Marianne Hirsch and Sonali Thakkar at the University Seminar on Memory. At the Harriman Institute, I would like to thank Gordon Bardos, who has made possible everything that seemed impossible, and Mark von Hagen, who answered my questions about the KGB and its predecessors, put me in touch with colleagues working on Yugoslavia and Titoism, and asked questions that I had not considered until then. Karen Van Dyck, Victoria de Grazia, Janaki Bakhle, Marc Nichanian, Andreas Huyssen, Rashid Khalidi, Anupama Rao, Marianne Hirsch, Leo Spitzer, Patricia Dailey, Reinhold Martin, Felicity Scott, and Elena Tzelepis have all offered comments and critique that have honed my argument and streamlined my writing. Research for this project has been generously supported by Columbia University, through two Humanities and Social Sciences Council Summer Grants (2001, 2003), a Chamberlain Fellowship for Junior Faculty Development Leave (2003–4), a University Seminars Schoff Publication Grant, and two Harriman Institute Publication Grants (2007, 2009).