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Fallen Idols

Twelve Statues That Made History

Alex Von Tunzelmann



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13 July 2021
Over the past three years, the world has witnessed the huge social and media discussions of what figures from the past one should, or should not celebrate and commemorate with a statue. The recent removal of the statue of infamous slave transporter Edward Colston in Bristol still resonates in the UK as debates rage on race, inequality, politics and gender. The conversations, demonstrations and petitions for the removal of statues to men and women whose lives and careers are in question is not a new phenomenon, but one that has been going on for generations. Only with the arrival of online media outlets has it now come to the fore in 'real time'.

Fallen Idols will be a nuanced and constructive appraisal of the current issues facing many towns and cities as they struggle to decide how the commemoration and adoration of statues that they hold dear (or despise) can be resolved. Von Tunzelmann focuses on key statues across the USA, the UK, Africa and to the old USSR to show the reader how the march of history can be unkind to leaders we sometime venerate at one point, and then cast aside at another - what they achieved, why their memory was celebrated in stone, and why they were then removed. A hugely informative read, supported with line-drawn illustrations of the statues chosen - that will educate and entertain in equal measure.
By:   Alex Von Tunzelmann
Imprint:   Headline
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 232mm,  Width: 152mm,  Spine: 24mm
Weight:   380g
ISBN:   9781472281883
ISBN 10:   1472281888
Pages:   272
Publication Date:   13 July 2021
Audience:   General/trade ,  College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  ELT Advanced ,  Primary
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Alex von Tunzelmann is a bestselling author, screenwriter, broadcaster, and media commentator. She lives in London.

Reviews for Fallen Idols: Twelve Statues That Made History

Reviews of Alex von Tunzelmann's previous works: Alex von Tunzelmann is one of the most gifted historians writing today. Brilliant and trenchant, witty and wise, Fallen Idols is a book you will adore, devour, and talk about to everyone you know. Hesitate no longer; buy this book * Suzannah Lipscomb, author, award-winning historian and broadcaster * Blood and Sand - 'This is proper history. It is illuminating to pick up this book with the twenty-first century's crises of Brexit and Iraq in mind.' * Jeremy Bowen, BBC Foreign correspondent * Alex von Tunzelmann is a wonderful historian, as learned as she is shrewd. But she is also something more unexpected: a writer with a wit and an eye for character that Evelyn Waugh would surely have admired. * Tom Holland, author of Rubicon * Indian Summer - 'This is history as multiple, interconnected biography. . . . Indian Summer achieves something both simpler and rarer, placing the behavior and feelings of a few key players at the center of a tumultuous moment in history.' * The New York Times Book Review * This timely, sparkling and often hilarious book is all that we have come to expect from Alex von Tunzelmann - witty (often wickedly so) scintillating, skewering pomposity. Readers will her relish eagle-eyed knack of offering jaw dropping anecdote while always keeping us aware of the big picture * Michael Wood, Historian * Like all the best historians von Tunzelmann uses the past to explain what the hell is going on today. She does so with a flair, her signature mix of scholarship and succinctness that is so compelling. If you want to make sense of the statues debate, and the coming culture war over our history, this is where you need to start * Dan Snow * Alexandra von Tunzelmann has chosen a subject akin to a minefield for her new book, except that the mines are statues and very much above ground . . . Tunzelmann is as skilled a guide as one could wish for; her erudition and light touch are major advantages. There is not a dull sentence in the book, which from the moment American revolutionaries topple George III in New York, grips the reader from start to finish. -- Michael Burleigh * Literary Review * It's a lively, engaging and often witty exploration of why statues are put up, why they are taken down and what this teaches us about history and memory . . . If it has an agenda, it's one that urges us to see the layers, the nuance and the different points of view * The Sunday Times * Forensically unpicking polemical arguments from all sides in the debate, Von Tunzelmann calmly and deftly guides us through this important issue, while never stopping being hugely informative, surprising and entertaining. * Aspects of History *

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