A History of Anatolia College: 1933-1950

Title: A History of Anatolia College: 1933-1950
Author: Alice S. Riggs
Publisher: Anatolia College Alumni Association
Date of Publication: 2007
Place of Publication: Thessaloniki, Greece
Language: English
Description: 301pp, 31 photos,
Price: gratis
Availability: Anatolia College Alumni Association--http://www.saak.gr and saak@saak.gr--telephone 2310238835 and fax: 2310287845

About the Book

In 2006, the Anatolia College Alumni Association decided to publish the memoirs of Alice Riggs, the wife of former President Ernest Riggs. She wrote the book at the beginning of 1950, her hand-written manuscript remaining stored and forgotten in the library of the College until recently. Readers--students, graduates and others--will find the book informative for its account of the historical events unfolding in Greece in the critical two decades leading up to World War II. Although her writings include details about daily life on campus, her memoirs also furnish a wealth of information about the period of the school's uprooting to northern Greece from Asia Minor. Anatolia College was instrumental, as Riggs documents, in transforming a generation of youth in Thessaloniki and later in northern Greece. She records her observations of the Greco-Italian war at the school and the entry of the German army into the conflict. For these historical times, her descriptive style offers readers greater insight into the devastating effects of war on the local populace. Read the entire text [in Greek] of an interview with the editor of Riggs' memoirs, Deborah Brown Kazazis, at the website of the College's Alumni Association at http://www.saak.gr/images/08_magazine/106/pdf/114_afieroma.pdf.

Book Reviews

"War, Suffering, and Tea on the Porch"--by Sarah Rees, Athens News

A History of Anatolia College: 1933-1950 details the years that Alice S Riggs spent at the school while her husband Ernest Riggs served as its president. Founded in 1886 by US missionaries, the Thessaloniki school is now considered one of the best secondary schools in Greece. Due to the outbreak of the Second World War, Riggs' years at the school were turbulent ones. Her memoir tracks the buildup to the war, as well as its aftermath and impact on the school and Greece. The historical coincidence of Riggs' presence at the school when the war began turns what would be an upbeat but bland memoir into a compelling piece of social history, giving the reader a glimpse into the realities of the war in Greece. Full text.

Excerpts from a Review of "A History of Anatolia College"--by Brenda Marder, Journal of Modern Greek Studies, Vol. 26, No. 1, May 2008.

"A History of Anatolia College: 1933–1950 cannot be classified as history. The book
lacks the bibliography, footnotes, and scholarly detachment that one would expect from a serious historical account. Also, a major stumbling block for research purposes is that the author scatters dates randomly throughout, rendering the exact timing of most events unclear. The title should read: My Life at Anatolia College, 1933–1950 since the narrative is more accurately categorized as a memoir. . . . However, keeping in mind that good history can often emerge from shards of memory, there is more than one reason to enjoy this honest account. First of all, Riggs is a fine stylist with a flair for the telling example and evocative detail. As a witness to major events in recent Greek history—the ravages created by the Italian invasion in 1940, the German occupation, the Greek civil war, and the widespread devastation in the post World War II period—she documents with pathos and accuracy the sociological traumas of the time. . . . The postwar vignettes she paints of individuals working at Anatolia and 'the life of refugees pouring into the city by the thousands' as a result of the civil war are sobering. She includes reports . . . which are the most vivid . . . this reviewer has read concerning the plight of these refugees in Thessaloniki. Most informative is the documentation of the multitude of international organizations working in Greece, not only in wartime but throughout the broader period covered by Riggs." To read the full text of Marder's review, visit a mirror site of Project Muse at the URL http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/journal_of_modern_greek_studies/v026/26.1.marder.html.

(Posting date 05 April 2009)

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