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Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History [Hardcover]

Robert M. Edsel
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)

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Hardcover, 20 Aug 2009 --  
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Book Description

20 Aug 2009

Now a major film starring GEORGE CLOONEY, MATT DAMON, CATE BLANCHETT, BILL MURRAY, JOHN GOODMAN, HUGH BONNEVILLE, BOB BALABAN, JEAN DUJARDIN and DIMITRI LEONIDAS.

What if I told you that there was an epic story about World War II that has not been told, involving the most unlikely group of heroes?

What if I told you there was a group of men on the front lines who didn't carry machine guns or drive tanks; a new kind of soldier, one charged with saving, not destroying.

From caves to castles in a thrilling race against time, these men risked their lives daily to save hundreds of thousands of the world's greatest works of art.

THEY were the Monuments Men, and THIS is their extraordinary true story.

'Remarkable' Washington Post

'Engaging, inspiring' Publishers Weekly



Product details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Preface Publishing; 1st Edition edition (20 Aug 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184809101X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848091016
  • Product Dimensions: 16.7 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 359,449 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"After World War Two I served as a British member of the 'Monuments' section in Germany. Our task, I believe, was truly important - we were restoring to Europe evidence of its own civilization, which the War seemed virtually to have destroyed - and I was lucky to have had a chance to participate. It is excellent that Mr Edsel has now recorded this remarkable episode, and I am grateful to him for devoting so much energy to telling the stories of those involved." (Anne Olivier Bell)

"Highly Readable ... a remarkable history" (Washington Post)

"Engaging and inspiring" (Publishers Weekly)

Book Description

Now a major film starring GEORGE CLOONEY, MATT DAMON, CATE BLANCHETT, BILL MURRAY, JOHN GOODMAN, HUGH BONNEVILLE, BOB BALABAN, JEAN DUJARDIN and DIMITRI LEONIDAS.

What if I told you that there was an epic story about World War II that has not been told, involving the most unlikely group of heroes?


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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An amazing story 23 Feb 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a story that demands a major audience. Hitler's war placed in jeopardy much of the world's greatest artwork, and this tells the story of what happened to parts of that art and how efforts were made by the Allies to avoid damaging it and to reclaim stolen art for its true owners.

If it were for the subject matter alone, this book would get five stars. Unluckily the story has been told from an almost exclusively American perspective, as if auditioning for a Hollywood screenplay. Americans' actions are described in an irritatingly folksy way, including many comments from their papers showing their national bigotry (e.g. saying that Roosevelt stood almost alone against the Nazis), while their British colleagues are almost ignored. This may be down to the facts that the author is American and that his admittedly extensive research relies heavily on Americans' memoirs. Perhaps equivalent British sources don't exist?

Read it for the incredible events contained within and for the passion for art that the author convincingly conveys to the reader, but forgive the style and remember that the Americans weren't the only people involved.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading (just) 10 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Fascinating story badly told.
Meandering across a vast array of information, moments of real excitement exploded by deathly prose compounded by repetition and imputed thought and speech. An important record but a bad historical novel!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great idea but poorly written 30 Dec 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The story of the brave and dedicated people striving to preserve Art is amazing. Unfortunately it is poorly written , has a disjointed story line, and is far too long.

I wanted to follow the stories of all the monument people as they had taken on such an important job, with few resources, but I found I was distracted by the lack of cohesion and storytelling skills.

The book is worth reading as the events undertaken are impressive, but be prepared to be tolerant of the author's poor skill.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Missed opportunity 27 Dec 2010
Format:Paperback
A really good story which deserves to be well writen. Sadly this is not the case....Edsel's style (if that is what it is) is to put together...not in chronolgical order...a disjointed account of these US soldiers at the end of WW2.The English is truly appalling, with badly constructed sentences, which are often repeated in different chapters of the book.Chapters are often only a few paragraphs long.I really objected to the, probably fabricated, innermost thoughts of this group of men....why is it necessary to include such speculation?
A missed oppurtunity.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The true story behind the lies of the film! 7 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I bought this because I'd heard some of the complaints about the movie, especially the mis-representation of the British involvement and people involved. This is the book on which the film was (very loosely) based and having read this I can see why some people are upset about the shameful way some real people are portrayed on screen. I can see why the long and complex story of the real teams had to be compressed and made more exciting for a movie, but the producers should have presented it as complete fiction with fictional characters, instead they pretended that this gives a realistic portrayal. Although this does get a little bit dry and dull in places (which I tended to skip-read) it is well written and gives a very different account of the events and personalities involved. If you wonder how so much of European art and architecture survived the Second World War, this is well worth reading.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatest Untold Story of WWII! 19 Aug 2009
By Kiki
Format:Hardcover
Length: 1:24 Mins
Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History

I saw Mr. Edsel on a BBC Segment and immediately ordered this book. It is hard to imagine why such an extraordinary story about a group of such extraordinary men and women has not been told until now. Congratulations to Mr. Edsel for finally writing about the "greatest untold story of WWII" and for bringing attention to these heroes of civilization. The world owes much to them for risking their lives to save so many of our most precious cultural treasures. In one word, this story is remarkable and this book should be a must own for every school library, military base, and politician as a reminder of the legacy of the Monuments Men and of the importance of protecting culture in times of conflict.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read 25 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I found this book both informative and enjoyable to read. I have learnt a lot from its content, especially the roles played by many individuals drafted from their otherwise ordinary lives. Ordinary turned them into extraordinary people. Also the bravery shown by one French lady who cared for nothing more than important art works remaining in their rightful places.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Badly written 7 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Interesting, if not very interesting subject, but the writing is all over the place. A fidgety read, easy to put down and above all forgettable.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Andrew
A well researched and well written, telling the real story rather than the film version. An amazing true story which made me want to find out more.
Published 1 day ago by A. Stanton
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent account of bravery, adventure and humanity
I loved the way Robert Edsel brought the Monuments men and women to life. This is a fascinating story of how art was saved. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Anne Marie Southall
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent resource and reference. An interesting history chapter which has been well written.
Published 10 days ago by Robyn T. Crimmin
5.0 out of 5 stars Get the Book - Forget the Film
100 times better than the film
Published 12 days ago by Dingley daniel
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
a thums up for the boys
Published 15 days ago by Al Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent
Published 17 days ago by Hilary Salmons
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very enjoyable
Published 22 days ago by tony Swain
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
plodding but with interesting previously unknown facts
Published 23 days ago by ronald
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine Arts, and Archives) were a part of the ...
The Monuments Men and The Women Who Wrote the War both tell interesting stories in their own right, and also provide a bonus by describing aspects of the history of World War II... Read more
Published 25 days ago by R. J. Matthews
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read but....
Better than the movie, but poorly written and very difficult to follow- especially on how the MFAA was set up
Published 1 month ago by SW
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