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)
I met Bret Witter at a book convention, and after speaking with him decided to listen to this book. While parts of the book are very interesting, overall it is somewhat disjointed. It is more like a string of stories and adventures, rather than a novel. If you have an interest in WWII, as I do, then you would probably enjoy this, but it may be one of those books that is better to read than to listen to. I did find the book at Borders, and was able to see the art objects that the author describes as well as trace the paths of the Monuments Men. (One more reason to read, rather than listen to this one.)
I enjoyed this book but found the narrator's attempts at foreign accents jarring. I'd like to see Audible vet narrators on their ability to do foreign accents before they hire them to read books that require foreign accents.
How is it possible that 67 years later, we are still reading new (and interesting) facts about World War II? This is a wonderful story and I kept a list of works of art discussed throughout the book to google. It reminded me of the beauty of works by Vermeer and others and I found the book an art history class as well as a story of brave men and women who risked their lives to save what they loved most - art.
As much as I wanted this book to be a glimpse of a little known aspect of World War II, it instead left me searching to see if a better book on the subject has been written. The authors throw in far too many uninteresting characters and stories, ending up with a plodding book that avoids getting interesting until the very end. The book doesn't shed any light on who in command supporting the effort and allocating personnel to the task of art preservation. The authors includes letters home from the people involved verbatim without trying to spin into them into the narrative. This is unfortunately a very weak effort at a possibly interesting story. But it will take a better writer to answer that question.
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.
This book is another excellent reminder of the many sacrifices that this nation has made without asking for a single thing in return. In the history of the world this kind of effort to willingly sacrifice life and limb to protect and locate the cultural treasures (of our friends and enemies alike) is unprecedented. The book was very interesting, though like some of the other reviewers; I thought it started out a tad slow. Since you don’t have the physical book (which shows pictures of many of the works of art referenced), I would suggest writing down the names of the ones that interest you and then googling the images when near a computer. The pieces referenced are a “who’s who” in terms of the European masters—truly amazing.
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?
imagining the locations and frustration of these men and women
locating the many cashes of items
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.
Join me on GoodReads too!
The subject matter is interesting and I was eager to learn more about the Monuments Men, but overall the book disappointed me. It wasn???t a bad book, but there was more in it than I wanted to read about - so I found it long and tedious at times. Towards the end, I lost interest and started skipping ahead. I think a 60 minute TV documentary would have been fascinating but this book was too long for me.
There are no listener reviews for this title yet.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.