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)
I enjoyed learning about a part of the war that I didn't know anything about before. It's quite well written and keeps the reader interested. What I liked least was the extremely american perspective. It is mentioned at the end that there were monuments men from 17 countries, and the English ones are mentioned here and there, in addition to one french woman. But for the main part, it leaves the reader with the impression that the americans won the war and saved art more or less by themselves, which is of course very far from the thruth. It's fine to chose an american perspective, but it should them be made very clear that this is a book about American monuments men, leaving most of the others out.
I enjoyed Jeremy Davidson's reading for the most part, except for the fact that all the non-americans speak with almost caricature accents throughout, which gets annoying really fast.
I would have presented the stories of more non-american monuments men and women, and left out the long description of the plain looks of the only monuments woman included, it sound like everyone should be surprised that a plain looking woman could be intelligent and brilliant at her work. We do not get to read about wether or not the monuments men are good looking, which is a good thing as it has nothing to do with their war efforts, so why does it matter how the only woman dresses and what she looks like?
It is a movie and I'm planning to see it.
I havent read the print version.
It deserves a place in on anyone's WW2 bookshelf.
The book is better.
very interesting true story about unsung heros of the Second World War
answering many of the questions about who hide all the historical art work, where it was stored and how
most important of all were those who searched out stolen articles and how that monumental feat was accomplished
rescomment to anyone who lves the history of that terriblw time in the world
I would try another book.
If you enjoy Stephen Ambrose books, Monuments Men may be for you.
Davidson's descriptions of the different places throughout Europe are really very good. I've been to many of these sites and areas so it was easy for me to picture them again.
I actually did see the film Monuments Men. If you want to get it right and know your history behind this important unit and events in military history there is no substitution.
Following several different men through their service with the Monuments and Fine Arts and Archives unit is a little difficult and perhaps a bit confusing at first. It's definitely worth a second listen and an important of American cultural history.
Watched the movie first. Quite a bit different. Great book but did drag on a little. Overall I enjoyed it quite a lot and some very good history also.
I like to hear books. It brings it to life better.
I would give it a solid 8
The history. Oh my gosh, hearing all the details about how the art was stolen and the search for it. I got a real education about Jewish history and the incidents leading up to the beginning of WWII. There was so much info about the museums in Europe. I wish that I had made the time to visit them when I was there in the 70s.
I could listen to him all day. He is a story teller. His voice has character and richness and great meter.
See how the spirit of humanity manages to stop the war machine from stripping away Europe's sense of art, culture and history.
The movie is never as good as the book - other wise the movie would be hours and hours long. The knowledge I got from the details in the audiobook will add dimension when I see the movie.
I did not read the print version.
I would compare this to The Black Count that I listened to recently.
I think the enthusiasm and emotion as the story turns tense.
I was particularly moved by the passion and tenacity of the people involved in recovering this tremendous amount of art.
I really enjoyed the book. It is a well told story full of history, art, suspense, war and personal commitments. It kept me engaged throughout and was a great complement to the movie.
A school administrator and avid reader and listener of books. At least an hour of every day is spent in the car, and that's where the bulk of my listening is done. I tend to listen to books on "faster" mode so I can get through more books!
I was inspired to read this book after seeing the ho-hum movie based on this book. The book is far better, and you learn the real stories behind the movie fictionalization.
Edsel provides a thorough description of the actions of the Monuments Men in northern Europe, where they were before the war, what motivated them, and their triumphs and tragedies during and after the war. I every much enjoyed the overarching story, but found the details sometimes bogged down the story telling.
I had the option of listening to the abridged version of this book, and chose to do the unabridged. If you are interested in the story, I might recommend the abridged version, although I have not listened that version, as my hope is that some of the copious details are left out, leaving you with a broader picture of the actions of the men and women who went to great lengths to save art during WWII. A heartfelt thanks to all of them.
This was a gripping tale about the greatest assault on human culture ever perpetrated, and how a small group of incredibly brave individuals went above and beyond to rescue some of the greatest works of art ever created.
Couldn't put this one down! I've read some great books on the history of World War II, but this one stands out for the uniqueness of the story and the compelling outcome of its central figures. A must read for anyone for any serious student of history and the arts.
Thank goodness there were those aware enough to plan ahead to save art treasures though they still started late in the war. What a fascinating story about devoted men and women who worked to save art and archives. The Nazis were relentless in their zeal to plunder. What could they possibly have wanted with things like insects collections???? It was sad to realize that since WWII there have been no monuments personnel in any war and the treasures of Iraq were decimated as a result.
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