Dandelions for Dinner
by Sam P. Stamatis and Peter S. Stamatis Greece at War and a Family's Dreams of America
Reviews

Praise for Dandelions for Dinner...

Dandelions for Dinner evokes with simplicity and power the terrible hardships Greeks endured during the devastating decade that began with the Fascist invasion of Greece in 1940 and ended with the brutal Communist insurrection that brought so much death and destruction to the country. It is must reading for anyone interested in the struggles and sacrifices of the Greek people to save their nation from totalitarianism and to secure for their children the freedom and democracy their ancestors bequeathed to the world.

Nicholas Gage, author of Eleni

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The resistance of Greece to the Fascist and then the Nazi invasions had been hailed by world leaders at the time as "heroic." This book poignantly and sympathetically portrays the cost of that resistance through the famine and brutality of the war years and the consequences as the country spiraled into bloody Civil War. The author makes the reader feel the terror and suffering that was the human component of that epic and tragic struggle.

Harry Mark Petrakis, author of Cavafy's Stone and other Village Tales

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 March, 2012

Book Review by Jack Joseph, Attorney at Law

DANDELIONS FOR DINNER

 Readers of Dandelions for Dinner will experience satisfactions on many levels: Told in plain, transparent, often dead-pan narrative, it relates the personal history of author Sarantis (“Sam”) Stamatis, starting with his forbears, in rural Greece, through the bitter conflicts of World War II and its aftermath through his emigration to the United States in 1946 at age 13.  The tone is largely conversational and informal, employing sometimes real and sometimes re-constructed dialogue (a technique famously employed by the Athenian admiral-historian Thucydides in his account of earlier hostilities in the Peloponnesus).

Sam, and co-author Peter S. Stamatis, succeed in convincing the reader without the baggage of  trappings or jargon of historians, ethnologists, psychologists, or other academicians,  what happened in Greece, how the Greeks reacted, what Greek society was like, and of what the Greek ethos consists.

Instinct tells me that Americans of Greek origin will find pleasure in familiarity with the experiences related, and that all readers, from a wide variety of backgrounds, will learn much about and recognize the universality and humanness of the Greek thought process, notwithstanding the sharp differences of outlook.  The succinct, episodic chapters, almost all of which could constitute free-standing accounts, turn out to be essential components of the grand sweep of events–including instances of tragic suffering (with the impact of Sophoclean tragedy) and even bawdy comedy (in the tradition of Aristophanes).   Heroism, cowardice, class consciousness, family relations, social structure, the role of religion, the force of personality–are all rolled into one fun read.  Learn more about Greece and the Greeks, more about human nature, and more about yourself, and have a good time reading this book.

 

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March 29, 2012--Review by Philip Anast at http://info.techimage.com/PR-Intelligence/bid/122159/Tech-Image-Book-Review-of-Dandelions-for-Dinner

On the Tech Image PR Intelligence Blog, we often immerse ourselves in the technology and social mediaissues of the day; but today, I’ll offer some insights into a very interesting book that I read recently.  It’s called Dandelions for Dinner: Greece at War and a Family’s Dreams of America.

Dandelions for DinnerThe book is a memoir of a young man’s formative years growing up in Greece during World War II under Italian and German occupation and the subsequent Greek Civil War that pitted Royalists against the Andartes, or Communists.  It’s written by that man, Sam Stamatis, and his son, Peter Stamatis – Chicago-area authors.

I found the book to be an easy read yet an emotional rollercoaster – a book that I didn’t want to put down.  On one page, I was laughing my head off with the colorful characters comprising the elder Stamatis’ family, relatives and neighbors, and the hilarities of life.  But the realities of their situation – occupation, starvation, suffering, death squads – formed an underpinning to the entire book and could bring tears in an instant.  The memoir is well written and does a superb job of balancing events and stories.  The family’s unyielding faith, shrewdness and desire to survive saw them through.  This is definitely a book of hope – a compilation of people’s struggles and their desire for a better life in America.

It also is a reminder and history lesson into the sheer sufferings that millions faced in the 1930s, 1940s and henceforth – the bitter fruits of fascism and communism. It was enlightening to read a book that saw America as a beacon of hope.  While the story ends with the family’s arrival in New York, I felt a yearning for more.  I’m hopeful the authors will re-kindle the ultimate beauty they captured in the book with a second volume of what happens next.  But I would settle for a movie of the original, too.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Dandelions for DinnerFebruary 20, 2012

By BKT 

 

Amazon Verified Purchase
This review is from: Dandelions for Dinner: Greece at War and a Family's Dreams of America (Hardcover)

Dandelions for Dinner is an excellent book packed with colorful characters. While there are a number of funny sidebars within the pages, the main story is deadly serious as it documents the struggle of a family desperate to feed themselves and live through the occupation of Greece during WW2.

Once you read this book, you will form a new perspective on your life and discover a greater appreciation of the USA and the immigrants that make it a great country.

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5.0 out of 5 stars A riveting tale of a family's journey from war-torn Greece to AmericaFebruary 15, 2012
By A. Thomas Skallas (Chicago, Illinois United States)

 

Amazon Verified Purchase
This review is from: Dandelions for Dinner: Greece at War and a Family's Dreams of America (Kindle Edition)

I just finished reading one of the best books I have read in a long time. Peter and his father Sam tell the true and heart-felt story of Sam's journey from war-torn Greece to America after WWII. The book is well-written and presents family members with brutal honesty. Reading the story reminded me of my father's journey from Greece to America and the hardships he endured to get here. This is a must read for anyone interested in why people will sacrifice everything to come to this great country.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Dandelions for Dinner: Greece at War and a Family's Dreams of America (Hardcover), February 20, 2012

By Jim Anthony 
This review is from: Dandelions for Dinner: Greece at War and a Family's Dreams of America (Hardcover)


Dandelions for Dinner is a poignant and inspirational story of faith, love, determination, perseverance and survival as told through the eyes of a young boy whose family endures the brutal hardships of life during WW2 Greece.

Written with candor, beauty, emotion, humor and honesty, this book is both an inspiration and a testament to the people who struggled mightily and ultimately succeeded in making a better life for themselves.

There were times while reading this book that I had tears in my eyes--sometimes from laughing robustly at the human comedy of life; and other times from crying at the human tragedy of war.

If you wish to be inspired, then I highly recommend this book. You will not be disappointed.

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As posted on our Facebook pages...

Maria Comninou 

I am half way though the book (kindle edition). I know about the Greek famine from my parents, but I can't help feeling sorry for the pig and the cat. Anyone who survived such famine, should be at least vegetarian:) My parents had a story ...See More

 

13 hours ago ·  ·  1
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  • Pete--

    I am half way through the book and LOVE IT! I am riveted by the story and the events that took place in Greece during the war. My grandparents came here in the 20's, so I never heard the stories of life in Greece during the war. Congratulations to you and your father for writing such a beautiful and inspiring book that reminds us all of our shared heritage and makes us proud to be Greek.

    Vicki

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Keith Tyler Really enjoyed the book! When is part two going to be published? I want to know the rest of the story!

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Maria Katsos Michalakos I started reading some of the book on Amazon. I COULDN'T stop. I had both my children tugging on me to get me away from the computer! I ordered it the same night :)

January 23 at 5:21pm ·  ·  1
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Kimberly Alexopoulos The excerpt is engaging! Sorry your Dad had to go through that, but the tragic experience has clearly influenced his life and what a wonderful man he is. All things are meant to be and thank God he is alive to share his story. We will be at the Book Launch. Congrats!

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It is amazing what so many of our parents survived! The Greek people have an ability to overcome struggle like no others. Dandelions for Dinner captures the heart and spirit of the Greeks! Great read.

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Maria Korbakis Good job! Dan amd i love your book. Good luck on your next event! Και περιμενουμε το επομενο .

February 18 at 1:42pm · 

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Review on Amazon.com   4.0 out of 5 stars Life in the villageMarch 12, 2012

This review is from: Dandelions for Dinner: Greece at War and a Family's Dreams of America (Paperback)

This book gave me great pleasure. It told first hand the stories and situation I had heard many times before. for example, life in the village, marring the daughter, educationg the boys, the family goat, status of the priest, property rights, money sent to Greece, the Plaka, cafe,coffee and men, the daily struggles of life before , during and after the war and yes even the dandelions for dinner. These stores were given a renewed enjoyment coming first hand from the voice of Sam Stamatis. Delightful, leisurely reading--recommend to all--especially those of Greek descendant.

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Facebook Comment...

Thank you for the add! I am half way through Dandelions for Dinner and am thoroughly enjoying it. It reminds me of my childhood summers visiting my family in Chora, Messinias and my Grandparents' stories. My ancestors also originally hailed from Mani, then Korifassio, then Chora. We have relatives in Gargaliani and also distant cousins in Chicago. Reading your memoir, I feel as though I'm back on my Grandfather's lap listening to the stories of his youth in Peloponnesus, the wars, and America! 

Kind regards,

Nikki

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BarnesandNobles.com review....

Posted February 20, 2012

 Highly Recommended

Dandelions for Dinner is an excellent book packed with colorful characters. While there are a number of funny sidebars within the pages, the main story is deadly serious as it documents the struggle of a family desperate to feed themselves and live through the occupation of Greece during WW2. 

Once you read this book, you will form a new perspective on your life and discover a greater appreciation of the USA and the immigrants that make it a great country.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.