This essay analyzes Andreas Papandreou’s skill as a political “story teller.” For a great majority of the Greek population, it is his narrative, his tale of modern Greece,the essay argues, that has become the accepted one. It was his narrative that helped bring and keep him in power for eleven years. One of the building blocks was an innate talent to draw conclusions and persuade the audience using events from his own personal experience –life in the first person. Another element was his academic background and a natural linguistic fluency. The analysis emphasizes his rhetorical devices and draws from the tropes of literature (metaphor, simile, suspense) to complete the standard portrait usually provided by political scientists and historians.
Nick Papandreou was born in Berkeley in 1956, went to high school in Canada, studied economics and political science at Yale, and earned a Ph.D. in economics from Princeton in 1986. After Greek military service and a few years at the World Bank, he quit the world of economics. He received an MFA in creative writing from Vemont University (1994) and turned to writing on a more full-time basis. Little Greek Godfather is his first script, co-authored with Olga Malea, and appeared in Greek movie theaters in the fall of 2007.
The movie was based on his first novel, A Crowded Heart (Picador/Penguin) which was short-listed for the 1999 Los Angeles First Fiction Award and was a runaway bestseller in Greece.