Peter Hughes, "A History of Love and Hate in 21 Statues" (Aurum Press, 2021)


The ongoing debate surrounding who gets to determine the subjects of public commemoration, particularly in the form of statues, has become more heated over the past few years. In his timely book, A History of Love and Hate in 21 Statues (Aurum Press, 2021), Peter Hughes examines the long history of statues being used to articulate the values of rulers, governments, organizations, and average citizens. Of course, that also means statues are often targets of people who want to challenge those values.

In this wide-ranging conversation, we discuss whether the motivation for public commemorations, as well as the opposition to them, can be found first and foremost in a society’s emotional relationship to the person (or god, for that matter) being commemorated, as is suggested in the book’s title; or, if the timeless debate over who does and doesn’t get commemorated is really about power.

Lia Paradis is a professor of History at Slippery Rock University and co-host of the NBN partner podcast, Lies Agreed Upon.

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Lia Paradis

Lia Paradis is Professor of History at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania. She is the co-host of the Lies Agreed Upon podcast and author of Imperial Culture and the Sudan: Authorship, Identity and the British Empire (IB Tauris, 2020)

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