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The Colonels’ Coup and the American Embassy: A Diplomat’s View of the Breakdown of Democracy in Cold War Greece
A major event in the history of the Cold War, the Colonels’ Coup of April 21, 1967, ushered in seven years of military rule in Greece, turning the Greek democracy into yet another country where fear of Communism led the United States into alliance with a repressive right-wing authoritarian regime. Coming as a surprise to the U.S. government (which was expecting a generals’ coup instead), the Colonels’ Coup was accepted by Washington after the fact, despite internal disputes within policymaking circles about the wisdom of accommodating the upstart Papadopoulos regime. Among the dissenters was Bob Keeley, then serving as a political officer in the U.S. embassy in Athens (returning in 1985–89 as ambassador). This book, the 43rd volume in the ADST-DACOR Diplomats and Diplomacy Series, is his contemporary insider’s account of how U.S. policy was formulated, debated, and implemented during the critical years 1966 to 1969 in Greek-U.S. relations. Published by the Penn State University Press, the book is also available in a Greek-language edition from Patakis, an Athens publisher.
ROBERT V. KEELEY was a U.S. Foreign Service officer from 1956 to 1989. He retired with the rank of Career Minister, having served as ambassador to Mauritius, Zimbabwe, and Greece; as deputy chief of mission in Uganda and Cambodia; and as deputy assistant secretary of state for African affairs. From 1990 to 1995, he was president of the Middle East Institute in Washington. Since 2005 he has chaired the Council for the National Interest Foundation, working for peace in the Middle East.