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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

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Aaron
  • Chicago, IL, United States
  • 06-30-15

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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

  • Overall

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.

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  • SusanKC
  • Kansas City, MO (for now)
  • 03-31-15

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!

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Satisfactory

The story was interesting and entertaining, but didn't go beyond that. In some instances the story seemed to drag a bit.

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Engaging story and narrator

What made the experience of listening to The Monuments Men the most enjoyable?

It moves at a good pace: there's few lulls, as there often are with historical accounts.

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  • Bobbie
  • CORVALLIS, OR, United States
  • 01-08-15

should have been headlines

It was hard to stick with but the story should be told, over and over, and over.

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Better Read than Heard

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Yes, the story is amazing, just hard to listen to. I have found certain books do well in audio format and not others. It's just how the story is written, and this story is told in such a way (with lots of WWII facts/dates/officer names) that it's not like listening to a novel.

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

The story of Rose, her spying on the Nazis in her museum

What about Jeremy Davidson’s performance did you like?

He was good at using his voice for different characters.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Yes, I did, then listened to the book.