By Nikos Ligidakis
Power and Defiance is historical fiction that is based on a true story and actual events. This is a project that has taken over eight years to develop. My intent was to create a narrative that didn’t simply tell a story but was also meant to both challenge and enlighten the reader.
This book is a labor of love. It is about the integrity of individual freedom and the intense struggle for social justice. Such deep matters require not only profound thoughts in the writing, but also equally reflective thoughts in the reading. The reader will find such thoughts throughout the pages of this book and hopefully will be challenged to recognize the heroism of those individuals who are perceived to be ordinary and to simultaneously re-examine the character of those who proclaim themselves to be righteous and just.
All the contents of this book are my liability and fault and have their origination in my own experiences, observations and creative conjecture. Power and Defiance is written in a unique format that unfolds slowly, yet grips the reader’s curiosity and emotions almost immediately. This is not a book for the faint of heart. It is rather a book intended to generate a serious emotional and intellectual response from the reader. It is a serious book about a very serious subject.
The narrative includes the trials of several individuals, a great number of historical facts, my own personal philosophy and political ideologies as well as numerous letters reflecting my own personal thoughts. I consider Power and Defiance to actually be three books synthesized into one. As you turn the pages of the first few chapters, I urge the reader to be patient, especially with the opening chapters. The format of the story may initially be a bit difficult to comprehend because it attempts to deal with tremendously complex issues that are not often discussed these days in our twenty-four hour news cycles and their underlying thought processes. Additionally, the book contains a tremendous amount of information, written in a fused manner, which integrates historical fact with ideology, philosophy and personal observations.
To make your reading easier, under the heading of several chapters you will notice captions such, Thoughts, Memories, Observations, History, Lessons, etc. These extra chapters have been included to enhance the comprehensive picture I am attempting to portray of the political, social and ideological landscape of the times and not to interfere with the trials of the individual characters involved in the unfolding story. The stories of these characters that are scattered throughout the hundreds of pages do not include a caption under the heading of the chapter.
Power and Defiance is written in a first person format. The names of the real characters have been changed while others have been created fictionally. You will meet and hopefully come to empathize and respect the complex individuals in this book who live in complex times, and who are caught in the whirlpool of history with so much to cherish, share and overcome. Consider that, as history continues its unfolding process, these individuals could be you!
Thank you for your interest in this very compelling subject. I look forward to your feedback after digesting my thoughts and my sincere efforts to engage you in a serious dialogue regarding the fatalistic affects of Power and Defiance in both our individual and collective lives.
As a writer, my aspiration has always been to share my perspective on what it means to be a human being, in all its complexities. I wanted to tell a story that reflects a comparative importance of political structures, religions and histories of the past. This book represents a lifelong dream of putting into narrative form, my many observations of the brilliance and kindness of the human spirit: people at their worst and people at their best. It is my intention to engage the reader in the process of observing history in both times past and in current day happenings for the sole purpose of gaining greater clarity in the shaping of one’s own approach to life and the deepening of individual insight.
In creating this book, it was not my intention to condemn or elevate any particular people, their mannerisms, lifestyle, or religion, but rather to create for you, the reader, an intriguing story that combines dialectics and poetry that together will elicit your own thoughts and feelings, bringing to life new ideas and new understandings.
In reading this book, I hope you will discover how true it is that we all create our own world. Everything visible or invisible is merely a deceptive dream. Nothing exists unless we create it. We create new forms and then, unfortunately, we seem compelled to demolish them in order to create others. This pattern will continue on into eternity. But there is no doubt that great ideas, morality and religion are needed in all our lives; otherwise society would be a chaotic structure. Still, all must be governed by reason.
We celebrate certain events that have changed the course of history and have shaped social structures, yet there are other events of seemingly less significance that have changed the destiny of millions of individuals, the ones that we never hear about.
Once we come to understand the horrible nature of the unnecessary trials endured by common individuals as a result of the “”arrogance of power,”” we will no longer be able to sustain an apathetic stance. The reality is that even in this 21st century and in many places on this earth today there exists wicked political structures that instigate the unending destructive cycle of those who seek power for personal gain or identity and those who defiantly oppose it.
During the writing of Power and Defiance, I have only doubled my certitude that the law of civilization is to renew itself and to advance. Those who have the irresistible need to grasp and assimilate whatever they can from their surroundings, making it their own, in order to gain power, to rule the world if they can, will never persevere. I am convinced that the pitiless law of power-hungry individuals will eventually and always reach an inevitable downfall.
It is true that arrogance is a sin that the universal harmony does not forgive. However, it is also certain that the common rule is destined to engender the annihilation of this destructive power. In seeking to find answers for the violence and killings that are overwhelming our society today, we seem to want to philosophize, yet we consistently arrive at the same conclusion: the merging of injustice, discrimination and poverty always creates the powerful ammunition for violence.
The primitive need of victimized human beings to rise and demand justice with rifle in hand is well documented throughout history. I believe that unless the so-called civilized world invests in the education of children who live in hopelessness, they too will grow in darkness. The fate of future generations depends on our children who are called upon to create a world of their dreams. They will be the ones who will define triumph and despair for humanity.
And so, I invite you to explore with me the “”worst and the best”” of humanity, politics and democracy as together we discover along the way, that each of us, left, right, religious, agnostic, activist, reactionary, theorists, conservatives, liberals, civilized, educated, scientists, artists, poor, rich, all of us are searching for the formula of life. A formula that I have no doubt exists.
Reviews About the Book
I have just completed “”Power and Defiance,”” after just receiving in 7 days ago. This is a very compelling book, in many, many, many ways. I have been speaking to others about it since I began reading, and what I have found is that, this is definitely a book one needs to “”experience”” for themselves, and can be a bit challenging to put one’s personal “”experience”” of reading it into words. It is a book that will travel with you, most likely, for the rest of your life. Nick creates a journey that takes you from mind to heart, heart to mind and back again on numerous occasions, allowing you to “”look”” at various aspects of life, history, war, power, love, conviction, struggle, victory, actions, speech, integrity, morality, religion, family, adversity, virtue, heroes, passion, liberation, voice and so much more. There are many layers happening in the book all at once that stimulate every part of your mind, body, spirit and Soul as you read, contemplate, integrate and percolate on the words written.
“”It is in the organized community that the writer is capable of achieving miracles.”” (pg. 465)
“”There are no good or bad moments in life. There are only celebrations and lessons.”” (pg 60)
“”To evoke in oneself a feeling on has experienced, and having evoked it in oneself, by means of movements, lines, colors, sounds, or forms expressed in words, so to transmit that feeling that others may experience the same feeling, this is the activity of art.”” Tolstoy (pg. 653)
Thank you Nick, for the Miracle(s), celebrations and lessons you have created via the “”art”” that your book personifies.
Zeyani R. S. Chrisanna
About the Author
Award winning author, Nikos Ligidakis, born and raised in Greece, came to America in 1969, at the age of twenty-four.
While in America, he began to write with clarity and passion in an ardent voice for all people everywhere who find themselves called to join in the eternal struggle for life and freedom.
In his award-winning book, The Last Mission Ligidakis introduced a hero in a fascinating story of survival during World War II. This incredible story narrates this hero’s freedom run of hundreds of miles in enemy territory full of danger, exhaustion, starvation, and death.
His latest book, Power and Defiance, is a labor of love, a nearly 800-page book about the integrity of individual freedom and the intense struggle for social justice. Such deep matters require not only the profound thoughts in the writing, but also equal reflective thoughts in the reading. The reader will find such thoughts throughout the pages of Power and Defiance, and hopefully will be challenged to recognize the heroism of those individuals who are perceived to be ordinary and simultaneously re-examine the character of those who proclaim themselves to be righteous and just.
Today Nikos devotes his life to coaching new authors encouraging and assisting them to write and publish their books. His publishing company, Inkwell Productions, has attracted numerous new and published authors and it’s rapidly becoming a significantly growing influence in changing the traditional face of publishing.
Nikos has founded several charitable organizations with the most notable his Thanksgiving Project to Feed the Hungry, a program that provided food to tens of thousands during its 21-year run. His selfless work with people has earned him several humanitarian awards over the years.
Ligidakis lives in Scottsdale, Arizona and has three children and six grandchildren.