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The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History Hardcover – Sep 3 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Center Street (Sept. 3 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599951495
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599951492
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 17.4 x 4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 726 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #83,819 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Kiki on April 15 2010
Format: Hardcover
"The Monuments Men" brings to life the untold story of the heroes who risked everything to save the treasures stolen by Hitler and the Nazis. The world owes much to them for their selfless acts. In one word, this story is remarkable and every school library, military base, and political leader should own a copy as a reminder of the legacy of the Monuments Men and of the importance of protecting culture in times of conflict. The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Tim Parker TOP 50 REVIEWER on April 8 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Most people will pick up this book because of the movie. Be warned in advance: this is a long book (500 pages) that will take a while to read. It's not really the sort of book you get hooked on and want to finish in one sitting.

What the book is based on is true, but there's a fair amount of artistic license in the telling of the story, blending history with fiction novel along the way. The subject, for those unaware, is the recovery of art and other artifacts stolen by the Nazis in the run-up and during World War 2. The facts behind this are well documented, as the Nazis actually kept decent records. This book becomes a combination of the story of the theft of the artworks, along with the team of Allies who tried to recover them, find their provenance, and orchestra their return to their original owners (when it was convenient).

The book won't grab you right away, unfortunately. The writing style is not gripping, and I often got distracted in the first third of the book, putting it down in favor of other things, simply because I couldn't get hooked into the story. The history is interesting, but it is conveyed in a style that simply didn't rivet me to the page. The writing does pick up, part way through, but even then, it ebbs and wanes as you work your way through all the pages.

I had a few issues with the creative license the author used, too. Knowing a bit of the history from previous research into the subject, there's a general adherence to the facts, but some of the players are out of proportion and some of the history has been "massaged" for effect. In the end, I treated the book more as a story than a history, as there are much better history books on this subject ("The Rape of Europa" is the classic reference).
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Format: Paperback
The Monuments Men, is the story of how a small group of individuals operated selflessly to find, save and return the public and private historical art, sculptures, and valuables of western Europe, which the Nazi's had stolen. The book describes the invaluable contribution of European museum staff, who made records of each of the art pieces moving through local temporary storage for transit further east to Germany; kept personal records of who they belonged to; and where they were shipped, making traceability and return of the art to the rightful owners possible. While Hitler did destroy numerous pieces of art and sculpture produced by Jewish artists, many were saved from destruction through the actions of the Monument Men.During the search by the Monuments Men, stolen objects were found in the homes of senior Nazis, old buried oil barrels, munitions dumps and old castles and mines, and a number of other locations.

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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By danielle lacasse on March 13 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Gread read and insight into history.Recommend if interested in some history other than, combat,into World War II. Light on countries involvement other than US.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert Waller on March 12 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found this book to be a great, slightly fictionalized for readability historical account of the great work done by the "Monuments Men" of the allied forces to save and restore to proper ownership much of the art stolen by the Nazis during WW2. It is well referenced and reads very easily for a book with good historical accuracy.
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By Denis Wake on July 4 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not up to expectations
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
All that “art” — nearly lost. I never knew.
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.
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