Against a background of diplomatic intrigue and military adventures, the figure of the Greek statesman Eleutherios Venizelos looms large as a Machiavellian figure of limitless personal ambition; an individual who had not until now been given his due in the course of history. Adding to the enigma of Venizelos is the murky origins of his family background; i.e. a Cretan by birth, who was to play a decisive role in the destiny of Greece and other states in ways that had epochal consequences for Europe. It was suggested that Venizelos’ ruthlessness, taste for intrigue and sharpness of mind is owed to a mixed ancestry; that he was Turkish, Armenian, and Jewish rather than Greek. Certainly he emerges as a man of cunning who, despite the images suggested by the word “Liberal”, was not to be crossed lightly, being a politician of authoritarian character. Venizelos, the “Liberal,” had been utterly ruthless in his pursuit of power, to the point of having opponents executed; and his many manœuvres were taking place on a path heading towards the First World War and its aftermath. This book aims at throwing a new light on his life and time.