'Written with enthusiasm' -- The Times
'The latest addition to Profile's brilliant Wonders of the World series ... tells the fascinating story of these figures ... He begins with their ignominious end and recounts western responses to them, their construction and the wealth and importance of Bamiyan to have been able to create such structures.' -- Financial Times
'Morgan has done what no others have been able to do, including UNESCO, Japan, and Switzerland, who have all pledged to rebuild the Buddhas. He brings them to life, again, and let them tell their tales, still etched in stone, words in air.' -- The Daily Beast
'Morgan tells an exemplary tale- of violence and tranquillity, survival and loss, ownership and iconoclasm.' -- TLS
'In The Buddhas of Bamiyan, Llewelyn Morgan ... explores not so much the heartbreaking demise of the statues as their remarkably long lives ... The story of Bamiyan, Morgan suggests, is really the story of Afghanistan itself.' --Guardian
'the latest addition to Profile's brilliant Wonders of the World series ... tells the fascinating story of these figures ... He begins with their ignominious end and recounts western responses to them, their construction and the wealth and importance of Bamiyan to have been able to create such structures.' Financial Times
The 'other' decimated twin Wonders of the World and the tragic country of Afghanistan
In 2001 the Taliban destroyed two colossal statues of the Buddha carved into a mountainside. Their history can serve as a wonderful window into Afghanistan and all the issues, historical and contemporary, associated with it.
From the Inside Flap
This is a book about a monument, an astonishing monument, a wonder of the world. But this wonder no longer exists. The Buddhas of Bamiyan were carved out of a cliff face in Afghanistan 1,400 years ago, and had towered over their remote mountain valley ever since. Then, in 2001, despite international protests, they were demolished on the orders of Mullah Omar, leader of the Taliban, one of a train of events in that year that culminated in the Al-Qa'ida attacks on 9/11, and the toppling of the Taliban regime.Llewelyn Morgan takes us back to the Buddhist kingdom of Bamiyan, a flourishing centre of commerce in the first millennium AD which constructed two colossal and elaborately decorated Buddhas to advertise its piety and prosperity, and describes the intense interest the statues continued to provoke in the Islamic cultures that followed, deeply intrigued as they were by the Indian cultures they encountered on their eastern borders. We also meet the European adventurers and spies from British India who brought Bamiyan celebrity again in the nineteenth century, representatives of a third great world religion sharing the same fascination for these remarkable creations as their Muslim and Buddhist predecessors. In a richly researched book Llewelyn Morgan in telling the story of the Buddhas is able to introduce us to the whole history of Afghanistan.
From the Back Cover
'Llewelyn Morgan's exquisite story telling brought me back to the "peaceful valley" and the magnificent Buddhas of Bamiyan .Written with great authority and affection, this entrancing book ensures their rich history and meaning will not be lost.' Lyse Doucet, BBC Special Correspondent
About the Author
Llewelyn Morgan teaches Classics at Oxford where he is a Fellow of Brasenose College. He has been to Afghanistan several times and has written a number of pieces on the country ancient and modern.