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The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History | [Robert M. Edsel, Bret Witter]

The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History

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.
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Publisher's Summary

At the same time Adolf Hitler was attempting to take over the Western world, his armies were methodically seeking and hoarding the finest art treasures in Europe. The Fuehrer had begun cataloguing the art he planned to collect as well as the art he would destroy: "degenerate" works he despised.

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

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (881 )
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3.9 (748 )
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4.0 (736 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jonelle Camp Hill, PA, United States 03-28-13
    Jonelle Camp Hill, PA, United States 03-28-13 Member Since 2008

    A librarian who loves to read, whether in print or in the air

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An Important - Untold - Story"

    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.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James San Antonio, TX, United States 09-05-12
    James San Antonio, TX, United States 09-05-12 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "forgotten hero's"
    What made the experience of listening to The Monuments Men the most enjoyable?

    imagining the locations and frustration of these men and women


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Monuments Men?

    locating the many cashes of items


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katie 08-07-12
    Katie 08-07-12 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fantastic!!"

    A great story, you feel transported to the war and all that entails. Loved it! A great piece of history for anyone who loves art.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sean Houston, Texas, United States 11-26-13
    Sean Houston, Texas, United States 11-26-13 Member Since 2009

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting, but a bit full of itself"

    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?

    Meh.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aaron 06-30-15
    Aaron 06-30-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Enjoyed the Subject, Not the Book."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lee 05-18-15
    Lee 05-18-15
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    "Exciting non- fiction"

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dr. Hans M. Wilhelm Sr. Arnold, CA 04-12-15
    Dr. Hans M. Wilhelm Sr. Arnold, CA 04-12-15

    master cook

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Eye opening journey into WW 11!"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark 04-11-15
    Mark 04-11-15 Member Since 2012
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    "We should all know this history"

    Amazing preservation of the unknown history of amazing preservation!!this work brings to light the heroes we have never known.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thane 04-06-15
    Thane 04-06-15 Member Since 2012
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    12
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    "Great look at WWII from a different perspective."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SusanKC Kansas City, MO (for now) 03-31-15
    SusanKC Kansas City, MO (for now) 03-31-15

    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!

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    "Important history lesson forgotten with Iraq"

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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