Travelling through time from Ancient Egypt to today, A History of Love and Hate in 21 Statues unpicks the past, illuminates the present and offers a new perspective on the future through these controversial symbols of our identity.
A timely history of the world spanning every continent, religion and era, told through the creation and destruction of 21 Statues. The statues range from the iconic to the unknown, from Hatshepsut in Ancient Egypt to statues destroyed in 2020 including Cecil Rhodes (Cape Town), George Washington (Portland) and Edward Colston (Bristol).
Statues represent our ideals and our imperfections, our heroes and our villains, those we love and those we hate. The building and destruction of statues is a constant of human history. By telling the stories behind the destruction of 21 statues, this book travels through time from ancient times to the present day. Proud or ruined, these symbols of our identity give us more than an understanding of our past. In the wars that rage around them, they may also hold the key to our future.
The 21 statues are Hatshepsut (Ancient Egypt), Nero (Suffolk, UK), Athena (Syria), Buddhas of Bamiyan (Afghanistan), Hecate (Constantinople), Our Lady of Caversham (near Reading, UK), Huitzilopochtli (Mexico), Confucius (China), Louis XV (France), Mendelssohn (Germany), The Confederate Monument (US), Sir John A. Macdonald (Canada), Christopher Columbus (Venezuela), Edward Colston (Bristol, UK), Cecil Rhodes (South Africa), George Washington (US), Stalin (Hungary), Yagan (Australia), Saddam Hussein (Iraq), B. R. Ambedkar (India) and Frederick Douglass (US).
This is history that resonates powerfully today as statues tumble around the world. Peter Hughes' brilliant new approach explores how yesterday's hero becomes today's villain.
Dr. Peter Hughes is a philosopher and psychologist with expertise in how individuals succumb to the madness of crowds. He has studied extremes of human behaviour and contributed to more than 40 broadcast programmes including Addicted to Pleasure with Brian Cox and documentaries on Amy Winehouse, John Lennon, Whitney Houston and Harvey Weinstein. Peter Hughes lives in London.