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The 1940s were tumultuous in terms of world history. However, they were also pivotal in shaping the destiny of Cyprus, Britain’s solitary colony in the eastern Mediterranean, the easterly outpost of Hellenism and the battleground for one of the bloodiest emergencies in British imperial history (late 1950s). Accordingly, this book has two main objectives. The first is to trace the formulation of British colonial policy towards Cyprus, which resulted in the offer of limited constitutional reform in 1947. The second is to explore the contrasting responses of the left and right wings of the Greek Cypriot majority. The book argues that London’s policy was driven by the perceived need to perpetuate British sovereignty. This overriding aim conditioned all attempts at constitutional reform. It had the effect of driving a wedge between these two Cypriot wings. The Right consistently demanded immediate self-determination (i.e. enosis) while the Left adopted a moderate stance, accepting self-government as a staging post on the road towards self-determination. The product of extensive archival research as well as interviews with veterans of the era, this book fills a glaring void in the English language literature on the history of Cyprus and of the empire it once formed part.
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The Author: Born in Lefkosia (Nicosia) in 1967, Yiorghos Leventis holds a B.A. in Economic and Social Studies from the University of Manchester (1990), an M.A. in Peace Studies from the University of Bradford (1992) and a Ph.D. in European Studies also from Bradford (1998). He has been a Visiting Research Associate at the Department of Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, King’s College, University of London (1999-2000) and an External Research Associate of the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy in Athens (2000).
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