The 13th Labour of Hercules | Granta

  • Published: 07/07/2016
  • ISBN: 9781846276248
  • 129x20mm
  • 320 pages

The 13th Labour of Hercules

Yannis Palaiologos

Since the revelation of its massive hidden deficit in late 2009, Greece has been at the centre of the world’s attention. Observers around the globe have watched with morbid fascination as the country has repeatedly flirted with political and financial chaos, as one failed rescue programme has followed another, as extremism spread and its official creditors bickered about the causes of its inability to recover.

How did a prosperous, seemingly advanced economy in the heart of Europe collapse so precipitously? And why has it proved so hard for it to stand on its feet again? These are the central questions running through The 13th Labour of Hercules. Through a series of compelling stories – from a cancer sufferer depending on charitable health care, to the Financial Minister charged with clearing up tax evasion, to the union bosses fighting mass unemployment and the workings of a prejudiced, corrupt governmentit brings to life the social, cultural and political forces that left Greece defenceless when the global economic hurricane came, and the vicious interplay between economic depression, institutional failure and social breakdown since the country’s Great Crisis began.

A granular account of the deep social dysfunctions that lie behind the economic crisis, telling the tale with a reporter's eye for detail. People at the centre of power networks in Greece are hard to speak to, so it is refreshing to hear their voices

Paul Mason, Literary Review

[A] searing account of Greece's nightmare of the past five years


The Author

Yannis Palaiologos is a features reporter for Kathimerini newspaper in Athens, Greece. He grew up and went to school in Athens, and studied PPE and post-graduate philosophy at New College, Oxford.

More about the author →