2021 marks the bicentennial of Greece's Revolutionary War of Independence. The herculean challenges the underdog Greeks faced resonated globally reminiscent of King Leonidas' battles 2300+ years earlier.
The stories of oppression and plight of the Greeks waging war against their Ottoman overlords resonated in America. After all, the Americans shared similar values, ideas and the quest for freedom. These epic stories of valiant heroes were on prominent display in headlines and echoed throughout the country.
Americans were so inspired that they undertook a massive effort to help the Greeks. The Greeks' bravery, resolve and resilience motivated Americans to act. While the official U.S. government stance was one of neutrality, an emerging grass roots movement called the Greek Fire campaign developed to help Greece.
Paradoxically, the Greek Fire campaign had a profound impact on the narrative surrounding the reprehensible phenomenon of slavery in America and second class treatment of women and their respective standing. Greek Fire provided a platform to shed light on the injustice and hypocrisy of slavery and subjugation of women.
Dr. Maureen Connors Santelli joins NHS for a lively discussion on her comprehensive research and book. Greek Fire explores "the American fascination with an involvement in the Greek Revolution...and infused a global perspective into domestic conversations concerning freedom and reform."
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