News release

New book sees two SNF Centre for Hellenic Studies professors contribute to understanding of Balkan states as clandestine battlegrounds during the Second World War and Cold War

October 28, 2020
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Assistant professor James Horncastle, an editor and contributor of the new book

Almost three years ago on November 6th, 2017, at Simon Fraser University’s Harbour Centre campus, nine scholars gathered from across the world to consider a single question - what was the role of neutral countries in the Second World War and Cold War?

The ensuing conference, Between Two Fires: Neutral Countries as Clandestine Battlegrounds, 1939-1962, hosted by the SNF Centre for Hellenic Studies at SFU, brought together an impressive collection of scholars from Canada, the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland and Scotland to share their research on intelligence-gathering, sabotage, and subversive operations inside neutral territories between 1939 and 1962.

The event was the brainchild of the late SNF Centre for Hellenic Studies director, professor André Gerolymatos, whose research mainly focused on British intelligence and guerilla warfare operations in Greece during the Second World War. 

Together with editing assistance from professor emeritus Denis Smyth at the University of Toronto and Department of Humanities assistant professor and holder of the Edward and Emily McWhinney Professorship in International Relations at Simon Fraser University, James Horncastle, a member of the SNF Centre for Hellenic studies whose own research focuses on the Macedeonian Question in the Greek Civil War, the three set out to publish the research resulting from the conference.

Former Hellenic Studies professor and director of the SNF Centre for Hellenic Studies, André Gerolymatos

The finished product, Neutral Countries as Clandestine Battlegrounds, 1939-1968: Between Two Fires, was published in September by Rowman & Littlefield.

Those familiar with the subject matter are sure to be pleased by the highly esteemed range of contributors to the book, especially when seeing one of the most notorious scholars on the history of intelligence, official historian of Britain’s MI5 and Cambridge University professor, Christopher Andrew, included in the list of authors. 

Esoteric and lay audiences alike will enjoy reading about the fascinating world of subterfuge, subversion, and sabotage performed by actors working to promote their governments’ respective interests while simultaneously protecting the sovereignty of neutral states.

This collection will not only assist scholars of intelligence studies, but in making it accessible to lay individuals it serves as a proper tribute to Dr. André Gerolymatos’ work in engaging the world.

says assistant professor James Horncastle of the publication and of his late colleague and mentor.

The book was published in memory of André and is dedicated to his wife, Beverley Gerolymatos. Professor of history at California State University at Sacramento and director of the CSUS Hellenic Studies Program and Hellenic Studies Center, Katerina Lagos, writes a touching essay of the late scholar's lasting legacy and the collective appreciation attributed to his personal and professional life in the book's final chapter.

Neutral Countries as Clandestine Battlegrounds, 1939-1968 : Between Two Fires is now available for purchase through Rowman & Littlefield and on Amazon.ca.

For more information about the SNF Centre for Hellenic Studies and its programs, please visit our Media page.