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Born in Athens in 1937, Constantine (Konstantinos) Tsoukalas belongs to that rare generation of organic intellectuals that experienced some of the most important historical events of the 20th century: Greece’s devastating German occupation, the Soviet interventions in Hungary and Czechoslovakia in 1956 and 1968 respectively, the social movements of the 1960s and 1970s, the Vietnam war and the collapse of the Bretton Woods system, the rise and fall of the Greek dictatorship (1967–1974), Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus, the two oil crises (1973 and 1979), the collapse of the Keynesian consensus in the 1980s, the break-up of the Soviet bloc and the transformations and expansions of NATO and the EU, the failure of Eurocommunism and the crisis of Marxism, the triumph of Thatcherism and Reaganism—to name but some of the most important ones. More recently, he experienced the global financial crisis and the Eurozone crisis that kneeled down his motherland, Greece, to an effective bankruptcy. In the course of his life, he lost precious comrades and friends, such as George Makris and Nicos Poulantzas, both of whom committed suicide in a similar manner: by throwing themselves from high buildings, the former in Athens, the latter in Paris. He taught in Universities in Paris and Greece—he is currently Professor Emeritus at the University of Athens—and spent many years in European and North American University institutions lecturing, researching and debating about how to understand the modern capitalist world and how to fight politically the social injustices embedded in it. In the Anglo-American world, he became known in the late 1960s, when Penguin published his short book, The Greek Tragedy, a magnificent historical account documenting Greece’s historical course and the advent of the dictatorship in 1967. In Greece he is a celebrated social theorist and sociologist with dozens of best-selling books in the combined fields of social theory and political and economic sociology. Some of us sitting on the Editorial Board of this journal were taught by Tsoukalas in the 1980s at the University of Athens. The theatre was always packed. His lectures were so well-informed and extraordinary that even accomplished professionals working at nearby legal firms were leaving their work to come to attend them. In 1998, when we were building this journal, he accepted our invitation to come to give a talk on the European project, which was about to launch perhaps the most ambitious component of it, the Euro. The lecture, held at the London School of Economics, was attended by hundreds of students and staff, including some of his old friends—the event was chaired by Perry Anderson and was attended, among others, by Donald Sassoon, Peter Gowan, Robin Blackburn, Mike Newman and many others of his generation. In 2014 he accepted our invitation to come to UEL’s STAMP lecture to commemorate the untimely death of Peter Gowan, an event co-sponsored with the Ralph Miliband and Barry Amiel Trust. In January 2015 he became a MP, elected on Syriza’s lists. In 1999, Tsoukalas published in this journal’s launching issue, ‘European modernity and Greek national identity’. This is a follow-up text in the same anti-nationalist vein on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the (March 1821) Greek uprising against the Ottomans. We have omitted heavy referencing to render the text with the immediacy it deserves. It is a great honour to have him on the Advisory Board of our journal.