The Monuments Men

Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History

Edsel, Robert M.

Book - 2013
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Monuments Men
"...In a race against time, a group 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 period between D-Day and V-E Day, this acclaimed book follows six Monument Men on their impossible mission to save the world's great art from the Nazis."-- Provided by the publisher.

Publisher: New York :, Back Bay Books/Little, Brown and Company,, 2013
Edition: First Back Bay media tie-in edition
Copyright Date: ©2009
ISBN: 9780316240055
Branch Call Number: 940.5314 E24m 2013
Characteristics: xvi, 473 pages :,maps ;,21 cm
Additional Contributors: Witter, Bret Author


From Library Staff

"...In a race against time, a group 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.

The previously untold story of a little-known WWII Allied division whose mission was to track down European art and treasures that had been looted by the Nazis at Hitler's command.

From the critics

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Mar 14, 2015
  • rpavlacic rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

A fine story about an Allied effort to take back some of the greatest treasures in art from the Nazis. These eight men and one woman literally risked their lives to pull off what they did, mostly successfully. There is still a lot of stolen art still out there that needs to be returned to their rightful owners. There could have been more about the backgrounds of this earlier version of "The A-Team."

Nov 30, 2014
  • LaughingOne rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I watched the DVD and felt something was missing. Went back and read the comments about the movie and realized what was missing was filling out the characters -- who are they? where did they come from? why are they doing this? So, as recommended, I went to this book. It does provide much more information about the eight men and one woman who were the main characters in the movie. While the movie did follow the book pretty well in terms of events, there were some changes made in the movie that I don't understand why they made them. There are two deaths of the Monuments Men -- one in the movie matched the book, the other did not. Why lie about how that one died? And the one woman did some things in the movie that were totally out of character, especially when I read about her in the book. Again, why? to try to add a little romance? If so, that was pretty lame, and unnecessary. I much prefer the book to the movie, but it is dense and a bit hard to keep track of which character is doing what and when. It does present a very interesting story about some of what happened in the last year or so of World War II.

Nov 13, 2014
  • KateHillier rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Came to this via the film. The film grows on me the more I watch it but I was frustrated at the lack of detail and little off topic meanderings. Was greatly satisfied on the detail here. The size of the group, the sheer amount of work and effort involved, and the recent acknowledgment of their services after decades of passing notice. Why only three stars? It was hard to follow at points. Keeping track of all the minor officers and keeping everyone's missions straight while context of what was going on in combative efforts took some doing. I can see why they really trimmed it down for the film - too much but still. I did, however, get what I was looking for though and I definitely recommend it for anyone who wants to know more after seeing the film or perhaps avoided the film entirely.

Aug 13, 2014
  • ReadingWriter rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

When I toured a beautiful area in Germany, I had no idea the Nazis had once hidden a tremendous cache of stolen artwork in that area. I learned about that, and much more, by the time I turned the last page of "The Monuments Men." The authors made the chaotic time come alive, as men and women fought a mostly secret war to protect and recover cultural treasures at risk from bombs and greed. The book does a wonderful job of showing the characters and personalities of those involved, and the loved ones they left behind, making me care about what happened to them. A little less successful were the short chapters that jumped from subject to subject. I'm so glad, though, that I persevered and finished the book. I learned so much about the monuments men and women who worked under extreme conditions to uncover secret Nazi holdings stolen from families and whole countries. It is a fascinating story.

Jul 01, 2014
  • JWW_O rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Even after reading other books about WWII, this gives a new prospective to the war and the sacrifices men and women did for their countries. We owe these hero's a huge debt and it can't be paid. We must never forget!

Jun 17, 2014
  • 1tarheel rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Well written, very clear, and .... who are these guys? How is it we've never heard of them before?

Jun 03, 2014
  • sunnye1988 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

The Monuments Men is an amazing book. A page turner; hard to put the book down until the very end. Read like a story rather than a textbook. I have visited towns such as Trier, Nancy and Berchtesgaden, and never knew that Hitler's henchmen hid looted art treasures there. The best part is one of the Monuments Men got to keep the art stolen from his grandfather. Rose Velland, French museum curator received the good credit she deserved for her bravery (not too many women get credit for their bravery). I applaud the author for recognizing a woman for her part in saving great works of art; however, unfortunately minor works of art considered decadent by Hitler were burned. The movie, too, was exceptional; an accurate detail of the book. The names in the movie were changed, but easy to follow the plot. It was an advantage to see the movie right after reading the book when it was fresh in my mind. Both the book AND the movie were worth perusing.

May 21, 2014
  • RoseSuites rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Reading this book was interesting and gave me a new perspective of our (US) role in World War II and the art world. This should be required reading for everyone.

May 13, 2014
  • kakacurt rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

If you love books about art/provenance and history, this is the best book I have read in a long while. Even if you are not interested in art, it is a very intriguing book. It amazed me the lengths that Hitler went through to appropriate his collections.

Mar 19, 2014
  • ABenoit rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I loved it. It was awesome! I want a second one!

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Sep 23, 2013
  • mariednguyen rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Other: Release date December 18, 2013 (USA)


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