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

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From 1943 to 1951, 350 or so men and women from thirteen Allied nations served as the men and women of the Monuments, Fine Arts & Archives section (MFAA) of the Allied armed forces, the eyes, ears and hands of the first and most ambitious effort in history to preserve the world's cultural heritage in times of war. They were known simply as Monuments Men. But during the thick of the fighting in Europe, from D-Day to V-E Day, when Germany surrendered, there were only 65 Monuments Men in the forward operating area. Sixty-five men to cover thousands of square miles, save hundreds of damaged buildings and find millions of cultural items before the Nazis could destroy them forever. Monuments Men is the story of eight of these men in the forward operating theatre: America's top art conservator; an up-and-coming young museum curator; a sculptor; a straight-arrow architect; a gay New York cultural impresario; and an infantry private with no prior knowledge of or appreciation for art, but first-hand experience as a victim of the Nazi regime. They built their own treasure maps from scraps and hints: the diary of a Louvre curator who secretly tracked Nazi plunder through the Paris rail yards; records recovered from bombed out cathedrals and museums; overheard conversations; a tip from a dentist while getting a root canal. They started off moving in different directions, but ended up heading for the same place at the same time: the Alps near the German-Austrian border in the last two weeks of the war, where the great treasure caches of the Nazis were stored: the artwork of Paris, stolen mostly from Jewish collectors and dealers; masterworks from the museums of Naples and Florence; and the greatest prize of all, Hitler's personal hoard of masterpieces, looted from the most important art collections and museums in Europe and hidden deep within a working salt mine - a mine the Nazis had every intention of destroying before it fell into Allied hands. How does the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History end? As is often the case, history is often more extraordinary than fiction. Hide synopsis

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Reviews of Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History

Overall customer rating: 3.601
Andrea

The strange war of the loted art

by Andrea on May 1, 2014

The great job of Robert Edsel is the description of the men and women involved in an huge game of chess between arrogant thieves, servants, art enthusiasts and servants of the state. It is a part of the history of ww2 known mainly between the art professional, Edsel lights the some of the episodes of that war across Europe and the curiosity to learn more about rises. The Italian part of the history isn't in this book, you can find it in "Rescuing da Vinci" by Edsel also.

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ris227

The Men book

by ris227 on Apr 17, 2014

Great historical book. Such a sorry time. Worth while read, but also disturbing.

william y

A Must Read

by william y on Apr 3, 2014

This is one of the most interesting and enjoyable books I have ever read. If you read one book this year, read this one. You will be introduced to a fascinating group of heroic men who helped save 500 years of human accomplishment. No movie could ever do this book justice.

Securebill

Hard read - Monuments Men

by Securebill on Apr 3, 2014

I found this book to be a very hard read many times going off on tangents that either bored me, were irrelevant to the book, or could have been marked as a footnote. I do not know the author's background but I felt this was an amateurish level of writing with little subject matter on point.. I do not know how they made a movie out of this but then again the movie was almost as bad as this book.

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purlandknit

Not a story

by purlandknit on Mar 17, 2014

This book is good however it really is more like a documentry. It keeps jumping back and forth to different times and people and in many cases repeates the same subject over and over. Interesting but not a story. I would only recommend this to a history buff.

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