Förgör de falska gudarna

Förgör de falska gudarna Destroy the False Gods

In 2015, the desert city of Palmyra in Syria is stormed by one of the world’s most brutal terrorist groups – the Islamic State. They wipe out the museum, trash antique statues and blow up thousand-year-old temples. A handful of museum officials resist and are forced to pay a terrible price. But why do the terrorists declare war against the ancient cultural heritage?

This is the story of how the remains from the first advanced cultures of humanity, the cradle of civilization, are being erased. By diving deep into the archives and visiting the war-troubled Palmyra of today, Swedish journalists Anders Rydell and Jesper Huor uncover the secret history of the Cultural Heritage War, the conflict between Jihadists and archeologists, and about the hunt for Blood Antiques: from active war zones to the world’s foremost museums. At stake is our common history – which is at risk of falling into oblivion.


Guldspaden Nominee (Literary Category) Sweden
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  • “Jesper Huor and Anders Rydell have conducted an impressive research effort and truly complement each other in terms of knowledge. They both write skillfully and with ease (…) The book is also an eye-opener. Cultural heritage is our collective memory, and the subject is once again highly relevant”

    Svenska Dagbladet, Sweden

  • “By shifting between micro and macro perspectives, Huor and Rydell create a text that constantly unfolds, never standing still, hardly taking a breath. The kaleidoscopic narrative, a hybrid of reporting, intellectual history, and hard facts, captures how complex geopolitical processes intersect with people’s tangible lives. At times, it is breathtaking. Huor & Rydell have written one of the most important books of the century.”

    Expressen, Sweden

  • “Jesper Huor and Anders Rydell have successfully created a non-fiction book that bridges on documentary thriller. /…/ A breathtaking journey where modern history meet the ancient world, about archeologists and other action heroes. /…/ Fingers crossed for a Steven Spielberg film adaption (…) where archaeology’s Indiana Jones goes on a bloody antique round with Debailly from The Bureau.”

    Plaza Interiör, Sweden

  • “This whole intricate double-play around cultural values and destruction, antiquities and smuggling, terror and trade is the topic for a non-fiction book as thrilling as it is educating. /…/ The authors differ in both their style and working process, […] their collaboration and diverse knowledge have resulted in a non-fiction book which in a rare way succeeds in unifying burning journalistic relevance with essayistic depth and weight. /…/ It is an impressively rich and vibrant book by Jesper Huor and Anders Rydell.”

    Dagens Nyheter, Sweden

  • Destroy the False Gods is like a non-fiction book hybrid, where the ease and presence of reporting are interspersed with sections of more traditional prose. /…/ One is very easily captivated by the story of Palmyra.”

    Aftonbladet, Sweden

  • “Huor and Rydell skillfully construct a riveting journey through time and space. The feeling of presence is compelling in the many testimonies where the complex set of events is alternatively illuminated and obscured. Whose stories can we really trust? This is also problematized in the book. /…/ But the work of the authors’ leaves no ambiguities. All factual sources are transparently stated and a range of experts from different fields have contributed with discerning eyes: this is, in all simplicity, an astonishingly executed piece of non-fiction.”

    Sydsvenskan, Sweden

  • “Succeeds in bringing to life the cultural significance of Palmyra through highly enjoyable prose, as well as provide an informed depiction of Syrian domestic politics, culture, and the emergence of the Islamic State.”

    BTJ, Sweden

  • “This book about the systematic looting of a unique cultural heritage is absolutely worth reading /…/ and for one who is not too familiar with the Syrian history, the read has been a particularly thrilling adventure.”

    Jönköpings-Posten, Sweden

  • “It is evident that these are two experienced journalists. Huor with experience not least from Afghanistan, and Rydell from the dark nether world of cultural looting. They complement each other well. Even though the narrative contains heroes and villains and often enters the dramatic scene, nothing remains one-dimensional. /…/ However, it is Huor and Rydell’s meetings and journeys, and how they reconstruct the destruction of Palmyra through them, that make Destroy the False Gods unique. It is also in the retelling of the interviews that the text truly shines.”

    Göteborgs-Posten, Sweden

Anders Rydell & Jesper Huor
  • Non-fiction
Reading material

Swedish edition

English sample

Rights sold

Estonia, Sinisukk

Norway, Pax Forlag

Sweden, Albert Bonniers

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