Monuments Men, The Hardcover – Sep 3 2009
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"After World War Two I served as a British member of the 'Monuments' section in Germany. Our task, I believe, was truly important - we were restoring to Europe evidence of its own civilization, which the War seemed virtually to have destroyed - and I was lucky to have had a chance to participate. It is excellent that Mr Edsel has now recorded this remarkable episode, and I am grateful to him for devoting so much energy to telling the stories of those involved." -- Anne Olivier Bell "Highly Readable ... a remarkable history" Washington Post "Engaging and inspiring" Publishers Weekly --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Robert Edsel began his career in the oil and gas exploration business. In 1996 he moved to Europe to pursue his interests in the arts. Settling in Florence seeing some of the great works, he wondered how all of the monuments and art treasures survived the devastation of World War II. During the ensuing years, he devoted himself to finding the answer. In the process, he commissioned major research that has resulted in this book. Robert also coproduced the related documentary film, The Rape of Europa, and wrote Rescuing Da Vinci, a photographic history of an art heist of epic proportions and the Allied rescue effort. The author lives in Dallas.
Bret Witter cowrote the bestseller Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World (Grand Central, 2008). He lives in Louisville, KY.
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Top Customer Reviews
In his madness, Hitler issued orders for the destruction of millions of pieces of European art, documents, sculptures, etc, should he be defeated. Hitler's subordinates had crated thousands of tonnes of explosives and planted nitro glycerine with the art that was stolen and stored in metal mines and salt mines deep in Germany/Austria. In the end some of Hitlers senior staff tried to get him to reverse his apocalyptic destruction, failing to do so. However, the complete destruction never took place with mystery and speculation surrounding the reasons.
While the race between the US and Russia to get to the treasures was mentioned, the book focused more on the search process and human values and qualities of those who contributed so much to the world by saving European cultural history.Read more ›
The author's note at the beginning introduces the main characters of the story, a handful of men who, under the leadership of George Stout, began the monumental task of protecting, restoring, finding, and returning the millions of stolen pieces of furniture, paintings, sculptures, jewelry, stained glass windows, carpets, tapestries, and documentation that was the backbone of European cultural history. Starting with no equipment, supplies, or transportation, these men from various arts backgrounds had to hitch rides when they could, commandeer abandoned vehicles when opportunities presented, and make their way to the front lines to find various buildings, monuments, sculptures, and paintings that had survived or been damaged, document their condition, keep both soldiers and citizens from doing further damage, and, in some cases, remove the objects to safety.Read more ›
The movie was a cartoon, but a heartfelt one — it made me want to know more about this exceptional part of our history. The book it was based on was the logical place to go. Not a great book, but fascinating and sobering.
The fact that this book has had tremendously good reviews and that a Hollywood movie was even made based on its contents strongly encouraged me to buy this book and read it. I did. Unfortunately, I realized that it wasn’t quite the fiery page-turner that I was expecting. A lot of space was used at the beginning of the book for background material and to set the stage. Since the monuments men featured here were a handful of individuals scattered throughout the U.S. Armed Forces (mostly) in various locations in Europe, the author keeps shifting his story from one to another to another and back again, cycling this way throughout the book. However, I did find some passages to be indeed quite captivating but these were separated by lengthy sections of much less gripping material.
Overall, I’m happy to have read this book since I have learned something quite interesting. I also believe that this work is a valuable addition to the library of popular history books on World War II. The author’s writing style is friendly, quite accessible, clear and occasionally lively. This book should be of particular interest to World War II history enthusiasts as well as art lovers.
Most recent customer reviews
This is a truly remarkable history of much of the world's great art and should be compulsory in secondary school curriculi.Published 4 months ago by Ralph Aldrich
One of the best books I have ever read. Started me on a whole second world war read marathon from the bibliography that has lead me off in all directions and many, many more... Read morePublished 7 months ago by me
Very disappointed. Slow, meandering writing. The movie wasn't any better either.Published 18 months ago by Ron gabriel
I really enjoyed reading a book that provided a theme that is different from the usual journal of military operations. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Gordie Rowe
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