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Synopses & Reviews
A decimated Shiite shrine in Iraq. The smoking World Trade Center site. The scorched cityscape of 1945 Dresden. Among the most indelible scars left by war is the destroyed landscapes, and such architectural devastation damages far more than mere buildings. Robert Bevan argues herethat shattered buildings are not merely and#8220;collateral damage,and#8221; but rather calculated acts of cultural annihilation.
From Hitlerand#8217;s Kristallnacht to the toppling of Saddam Husseinand#8217;s statue in the Iraq War, Bevan deftly sifts through military campaigns and their tactics throughout history, and analyzes the cultural impact and catastrophic consequences of architectural destruction. For Bevan, these actions are nothing less than cultural genocide. Ultimately, Bevan forcefully argues for the prosecution of nations that purposely flout established international treaties against destroyed architecture.
A passionate and thought-provoking cri de coeur, The Destruction of Memory raises questions about the costs of war that run deeper than blood and money.
and#8220;The idea of a global inheritance seems to have fallen by the wayside and lessons that should have long ago been learned are still being recklessly disregarded. This is what makes Bevanand#8217;s book relevant, even urgent: much of the destruction of which it speaks is still under way.and#8221;and#8212;Financial Times Magazine
and#8220;The message of Robert Bevanand#8217;s devastating book is that war is about killing cultures, identities and memories as much as it is about killing people and occupying territory.and#8221;and#8212;Sunday Times
and#8220;As Bevanand#8217;s fascinating, melancholy book shows, symbolic buildings have long been targeted in and out of war as a particular kind of mnemonic violence against those to whom they are special.and#8221;and#8212;The Guardian
Bevan combs through world history to highlight a range of wars and conflicts in which the destruction of architecture was pivotal. From Cortez’s razing of Aztec cities to the carpet bombings of Dresden and Tokyo in World War II to the war in the former Yugoslavia, The Destruction of Memory exposes the cultural war that rages behind architectural annihilation, revealing that in this subliminal assault lies the complex aim of exterminating a people. He provocatively argues for “the fatally intertwined experience of genocide and cultural genocide,” ultimately proposing the elevation of cultural genocide to a crime punishable by international law.
In an age in which Frank Gehry, I. M. Pei, and Frank Lloyd Wright are revered and yet museums and temples of priceless value are destroyed in wars around the world, Bevan challenges the notion of “collateral damage,” arguing that it is in fact a deliberate act of war.
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Table of Contents
- Trade Paperback
- Publication date:
- UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO PRESS
- Number of Units:
- Copyright Year:
- UPC Code:
- Architecture — History.