Headline has acquired Fallen Idols: A Short History of the World in 12 Statues, an "enlightening and witty" tour through the modern history of statues from historian and commentator Alex von Tunzelmann.
Publisher for Non Fiction Iain MacGregor acquired world rights (excluding North America) to Fallen Idols from Natasha Fairweather at Rogers, Coleridge and White, with Jennifer Barth acquiring North American rights for HarperCollins.
Fallen Idols spans 300 years of history, focusing on key statues from the Americas, the British Isles, Africa, the Middle East and the old USSR, from George Washington to Saddam Hussein. According to Headline, it shows the reader "how the march of history can be unkind to leaders we sometime venerate at one point, and then cast aside at another". The author will describe what each leader achieved, why their memory was celebrated in stone, and why they were then removed. It will also further the debate on whether statues should stay or go.
MacGregor said: "Alex has been discussing this issue for many years and is a distinguished historian and columnist who has a strong following and a big readership. Fallen Idols will be a nuanced and constructive appraisal of the current issues and also looking back at how the commemoration and adoration of specific statues that will be familiar to readers, has now been brought to the forefront of debates on race, inequality, politics and gender. Her goal is for Fallen Idols to educate and entertain in equal measure."
Von Tunzelmann said: "I'm thrilled to be working on this book with Iain MacGregor and the team at Headline, exploring these fascinating stories and the whole vital, complex question of how we as a society remember the past."