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Monuments Men, The Hardcover – Sep 3 2009

4.0 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Word Alive (Sept. 3 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599951495
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599951492
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 3.8 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 726 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #191,700 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

"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 the Paperback 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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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 excellent books. Would recommend this to anyone who likes a good read, even if your not a history fan.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed reading a book that provided a theme that is different from the usual journal of military operations. To be involved in an operation that saved articles of art in the midst of so much destruction would be satisfying.
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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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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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By George Poirier TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on Jan. 22 2015
Format: Paperback
Most history enthusiasts who have read books on World War II are most likely aware of the fact that the Nazis were hoarding all sorts of art pieces to various hiding places in Europe. However, I, for one, was not aware of the existence of the Monuments Men. Consequently, this book was an eye-opener for me.

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.
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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a real life mystery/thriller about a little known aspect of WWII. It's surprising to learn how obsessed the Nazis were about acquiring Europe's great works of art and how dedicated this handful of men (and one woman) were to the difficult and dangerous work of recovering and preserving them.
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By Mys M TOP 500 REVIEWER on Jan. 7 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
This is the amazing WWII story of a massive Nazi conspiracy to loot the art treasures of Europe from museums, churches, monasteries, and, finally, from the private collections of the undesirable races, and the efforts of the allies to retrieve the stolen works from their thousands of repositories around Germany and return them to their rightful owners. Many famous paintings including some by Rembrandt and Vermeer, sculptures by Michelangelo (including his Bruges Madonna), and the Ghent altarpiece, were all part of the booty. While some went into private collections of high ranking German officers, much of it was set aside in order that Hitler could build the greatest gallery in all of Europe in his hometown. Despite the recovery of hundreds of thousands of pieces of art, a great many paintings were either destroyed or never recovered.

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.
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