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Monumental Lies by Robert Bevan
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Monumental Lies

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Monumental Lies by Robert Bevan
Hardcover $29.95
Oct 11, 2022 | ISBN 9781839761874

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“This useful book connects a number of apparently disparate stories about statues and monuments and considers the various ironies of their representation and significance, past and present. A recommended read.”
—Professor Corinne Fowler, author of Green Unpleasant Land

“Robert Bevan’s passionate, timely polemic is a much-needed antidote to all the horror stories about ‘woke’ protesters tearing down monuments. The true threat to our built-up environment, he argues, comes not from the Left, but from governments who employ all the powers of the state to re-write history in their image. It is at times a truly terrifying read.”
—Keith Lowe, author of Prisoners of History

“Wide ranging and rigorous, readable and profound, this superb book argues that if we can no longer trust the tangible world around us to tell the truth, then we are in trouble. Bevan offer us solutions arguing that we need to look at ways we can layer our monuments and our city that turns sites of honour into sites of shame, that change the meaning of the past without losing altogether the vital evidence of that past from the public realm.”
—Liza Fior, MUF Architecture/Art

“This close reading of the city is a potent response to the culture wars because it deals in precisely the historical honesty that culture warriors have no stomach for. Righteous but always nuanced, Bevan is the perfect guide to the way urban iconography distorts history and entrenches power.”
—Justin McGuirk, Senior Curator, Design Museum

“A book that makes you sit up … powerful”
—Charlotte Mullins, Country Life

“From statues of slave traders to pictures of medieval town centres offered as evidence of “cultural superiority”, architecture and public art are everywhere in a coarsened discourse. Robert Bevan…navigates the territory delicately and brilliantly”
—Edwin Heathcote, Financial Times, Best Books of 2022

“One of the most compelling progressive voices in the heritage world … Using his nuanced knowledge of architectural history, he is attempting to unpick some of the myths and straight lies deployed when architecture is weaponised.”
—Eddie Blake, Tribune

“Bevan astutely argues that those who manipulate our cultural past are shaping our future, making the case that historic buildings have become battlegrounds for right-wing and nationalist political arguments.”
The Art Newspaper, Top Books of 2022

“Knowledgeable and thought-provoking”
—Daniel Trilling, Apollo

“Topical, thought-provoking, knowledgeable about the uses and abuses of culture wars.”
—Rowan Moore, Observer architecture critic

Monumental Lies could hardly be better timed … Bevan’s book is the result of many years’ research and contemplation, and is thorough, extensive and provocative … brilliant”
—Emma Dent Coad, Building Design

“A book on cultural patrimony and historical architecture from Bevan’s perspective is necessary … searching and wide-ranging”
—Ben Luke, The Art Newspaper

“Blistering … [a] hugely rewarding book that provides a considered and unexpected commentary on the built environment amid the culture wars”
—Tristram Hunt, Times Literary Supplement

“A fascinating and very wide-ranging … rich in detailed discussions of both the artistic and architectural issues and political contexts of many different problems across the contemporary world.”
—Dominic Alexander, Counterfire

“Powerful … a must-read book for everyone interested in the questions of heritage representation, diversity and the city, and the way to move forward after painful and violent pasts.”
—Ammar Azzouz, Urban Studies

Monumental Lies is a highly absorbing and deserving read, and recommended for anyone with an interest in what the built environment says – or avoids saying – about history.”
—Richard Crappsley, Urban Design Journal

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