In a race against time, behind enemy lines, often unarmed, a special force of American and British museum directors, curators, art historians, and others, called the Monuments Men, risked their lives scouring Europe to prevent the destruction of thousands of years of culture. Focusing on the 11-month period between D-Day and V-E Day, this fascinating account follows six Monuments Men and their impossible mission to save the world's great art from the Nazis.
©2009 Robert M. Edsel; (P)2009 Macmillan Audio
"The story is both engaging and inspiring. In the midst of a total war, armies systematically sought to mitigate cultural loss." (Publishers Weekly)
"[Narrator Jeremy Davidson] varies the pacing effectively, based on the nature of the text. He speeds up slightly during exciting action-filled sequences. He reads letters and documents with a flatter tone, making it easy for listeners to discern when the document stops and the author's words resume. He also gives a slight but not intrusive or cartoonish British accent to quotations by Britishers." (AudioFile)
A librarian who loves to read, whether in print or in the air
Fascinating book about the Allies efforts in World War II to identify, locate, conserve, and in many cases return art and cultural artifacts to the rightful owners following World War II. While reading the book I realized that I had visited many of the areas described in this book in France, Austria and Germany, and that I had never heard these stories before. I'm glad that the story is being told now.
imagining the locations and frustration of these men and women
locating the many cashes of items
Say something about yourself!
A tremendously interesting story about how museum curators went on the front lines to save, salvage and rescue much of Europe's cultural heritage as the Allied war machine marched towards Berlin. Some wonderful characters, working secretly to document what the Nazis had taken, from whom, and to where.
I'm glad the Army spent time and effort preserving these treasures. I've seen many of the rescued works in churches and museums across Europe. But this story is a footnote to WW2; the author seems like he's trying to make heroes out of his main characters. Undoubtedly some of them were brave and physically courageous. But heroes?
I really wanted to enjoy this book, and indeed, did find many of the vignettes quite interesting. In particular, as the Allies entered Germany, the interactions with the German people and soon-to-be-ex-nazis piqued my interest.
However, the book as a whole is rather plodding and, for the most part, dull. In particular, the opening and middle chapters contained too much detail about personal lives, and while background would be important if the narrative was driven by the interactions among the Monuments Men (which it isn’t), the background here doesn’t really aid the reader in the stories that are actually told. I found my attention drifting often, which wasn’t helped by the narration, which at times was jarring and other times monotonous.
Overall, I’m glad this book exists and I’m glad to know more about the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives section. As a fan of museums and art in general, I’m grateful for the work performed by these men and women. I just cannot recommend this book, and would advise the would-be reader to pass in lieu of another book on the same subject.
Three stars for being poignant at times, even if not particularly well done.
In spite of some very detailed and technical passages, the book was compelling and often "un-put-down-able". It is a story of persistence and commitment and bravery. And a fine performance. Well worth the time!
Overall a fantastic education! It was all new to me concerning what an incredible group of young men did for other countries bravely finding ànd saving their priceless art treasures for future generations.
Great look at WWII from a different perspective. I found it very interesting and fascinating what the Germans did with the paintings and art work. I could listen and learn much more about this topic.
I'm a busy stay at home Mom, with an adolescent "special needs" kiddo & my husband with MS. I love gardening, cooking, reading, and hand crafts. Being able to listen to a book while I'm doing other things (including dreadful things like housekeeping) is heavenly!
In WW II we were heroes because we, for the most part, acted with integrity. Sixty years later, in this age of "I got mine" our leaders did not act with integrity, and we as a nation, are viewed with suspicion. This has allowed ISIS and other evil people to exploit our behavior and perpetrate their agendas.
Shame on us for not recognizing the lessons and need to study history!
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