In war-torn Greece, the murder of a young American reporter sent a shock through the West and set the stage for the four-decade Cold War; now with a new introduction by the author
Greece in 1948 was a country reeling from two major conflicts. The Nazi occupation and World War II had left it weakened, and the Greek Civil War—already raging for two years—had torn it apart. One of the earliest clashes of the Cold War, Greece’s civil dispute pitted the American-backed royalist government against the Soviet-funded Greek Communist Party. Reporting at the front lines for CBS News, George Polk drew the ire of both sides with his uncompromising and incisive coverage.
In mid-May, days after going missing, Polk was found dead, shot execution style with his hands and feet bound. What transpired next was a mad scramble of finger pointing and international outrage. To appease its American backers, the Greek government quickly secured the dubious confession of a Communist journalist—though the bulk of the evidence pointed to the royalists.
An influential moment in the early days of the Cold War and a powerful force in the formation of the Truman Doctrine, the Polk conspiracy was emblematic of the ideological conflict that would embroil the globe for the next forty years.
“A harrowing real-life thriller of an important morality tale.” —The Washington Post Book World
“An impressive work of investigative reporting.” —Los Angeles Times
“Ms. Marton appears to advance the Polk case dramatically . . . reminding us how lonely, perilous and heroic a reporter’s lot can be.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Fast-paced, compellingly written and entirely engaging.” —The Nation
“As Kati Marton shows in her compelling new account of the Polk case, the life and death of this young reporter still epitomize the struggle between journalists committed to discovering the truth and governments determined to manipulate it.” —Entertainment Weekly Kati Marton is an award-winning former correspondent for NPR and ABC News. She is the author of eight books, the most recent of which is the New York Times–bestselling memoir Paris: A Love Story. Enemies of the People: My Family’s Journey to America was a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. Her other works include The Great Escape: Nine Jews Who Fled Hitler and Changed the World, Hidden Power: Presidential Marriages That Shaped Our History, Wallenberg, A Death in Jerusalem, and a novel, An American Woman. Marton lives in New York City.