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
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.
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
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
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 relish her eagle-eyed knack of offering jaw dropping anecdote while always keeping us aware of the big picture
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.
Timely and necessary.
Alex von Tunzelmann deftly captures ... [that] ... statues are always works in progress: toppled, moved, reworked, re-erected and reinterpreted. There has never been a time when they were not contested.
It's a timely, well written and often entertaining look at statues that were pulled down not only in 2020's wave of iconoclasm but in other places and at other times too.