...a Ben Hur dash for the finishing line, in which Mamma Mia, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, ribbon developments on the Costa del Sol and the migration towards Italy of North African refugees in sinking boats are all briefly glimpsed...The modern Mediterranean, as seen by David Abulafia in his new history of the great sea--as summarized by Nigel McGilchrist, in the London Review of Books for 22 March.
[Greece] is on the verge of radical social change. The political reform and concomitant economic growth that began in the mid-1970s encouraged the formation of a new middle class, which steadied the political pendulum by filling the gap between the warring left and right. Education rather than capital accumulation lifted people into the middle tiers of the social pyramid and, since the public sector is the main employer of the professional classes, most of them are dependent on the state for their status. The present crisis threatens to wipe out this class, clearing a space for a renewed confrontation between irreconcilable extremes.Greece, per John Makarkis, on the next page.