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

by Robert M. Edsel

Download Monuments Men: Nazi Thieves, Allied Heroes and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History epub
ISBN: 1848091028
ISBN13: 978-1848091023
Category: History
Subcategory: World
Author: Robert M. Edsel
Language: English
Publisher: Preface Publishing; Airports / Ireland / Export ed edition (2009)
ePUB size: 1969 kb
FB2 size: 1776 kb
Rating: 4.9
Votes: 875
Other Formats: azw lrf txt rtf

Mitars Riders
The big note to start this review is that if you watched the movie, fine—it was entertaining and you gotta love the actors. However, if you want the real scoop on the real Monuments Men, you must read the book.
I’m not sure why Hollywood (does most of what it does) decided to change the characters or make light of the contributions put forth by Rose Valland by intimating her having a crush on Matt Damon’s character.
The Monuments Men were courageous and enterprising, pushing to be in active war zones in their pursuit of art of every kind. They worked closely with residents and a broad array of military personnel. Where the bigwigs so often took the credit—shock—these were the men behind the scenes doing their job and saving millions of pieces of art from the destruction of Hitler’s madness.
The book follows the team from their inception to the close of their work. The author, Robert M. Edsel, did a brilliant job solidly taking us along the path of the battles while not losing sight of the point of the story.
You may find yourself doing what I did throughout the book—gasping in horror as more and more of what Hitler was doing comes to light. I knew about his confiscation of artwork from everyone, everywhere, and yet I was astounded to find out even more of his evil egomaniacal ways.
There are descriptions of the men—and Rose—that I noted along the way, James Rorimer, “He had no practice in failure, and he had no intention of starting now.”
Ms. Valland, “Destiny is not one push, she thought as she waited to cross a quiet street on that cold Paris evening years later, but a thousand small moments that through insight and hard work you line up in the right direction, like a magnet does with metal shavings.”
You’ll enjoy reading about Harry Ettlinger’s journey with the Monuments Men. A German Jew with American citizenship, he served bravely along with the others.
George Stout, “’The sun is fine and, after the rat race, I begin to remember that I am myself and not merely a set of functions.’”
Having been blessed with the experience of standing in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam—a haven of art—reading that paintings were taken from there made me sad and appreciate at all that was saved. It took them six years for the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives to return what they’d found to the proper owners.
This book reads like an adventure story and will keep you interested the entire way through.
If you like history and heroes, read this book, don’t just watch the movie.
One of the most enjoyable aspects to the study of history is always finding new stories. Even when you think you know a lot about a field you find something new and enjoyable. That one of the many reasons that I enjoyed Monuments Men so much. Robert Edsel has provided us with a look at an area of World War II studies that has gone virtually unnoticed for nearly 70 years. The men and women of the MFAA (Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives) Division served an almost unknown, but incredibly valuable part in the war against the destructive evil of Nazism.

When Hitler's forces overran Europe they set about looting the national artistic treasures in a methodical manner. Priceless treasures were pillaged from the museums and galleries of France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland, and other European nations. All property belonging to Jews were taken. Hitler's dream was to create an enormous museum that would be the envy of the entire world. Instead he launched the most destructive war in history.

The allies were aware of the cultural heritage in the areas that they would be fighting. This is why the MFAA was created. The original MFAA officers were tasked with traveling into the war zones and identifying historic sites that needed to be preserved. The stories of what these men accomplished is truly amazing. Time after time they were able to save important buildings from being destroyed.

As the book progresses we see another dimension of their work. They began to investigate the Nazi looting. Their job shifted from simply protecting buildings from destruction to locating stolen works of art. At times the book resembles an action thriller story. The theft of priceless works of art. The heroic civilians who work undercover to spy on the Nazis. The small band of men rushing from place to place to save these priceless objects.

I really enjoyed this book. I enjoyed the subject, I enjoyed the writing, I enjoyed everything about it. Robert Edsel has done an excellent job of sharing this important story with us. Perhaps there is no greater evidence of the statement that those who do not study history are bound to repeat it. We never studied the important work of the Monuments Men. As a result the allies were not prepared when Iraq was invaded in 2003. The looting of those priceless antiquities could have been avoided by simply employing a group like the MFAA. Perhaps this book will help to raise awareness so that tragedies like the Iraq museum will not happen again.
If I had written this review when I was only 25% of the way through this book, I would have given it 2 stars. The beginning of the book can only be described as plodding and in my opinion was not very well constructed. However, I hung in there and the payoff came in the remainder of the book.

The book describes an overlooked group of men and women who served during WWII to save priceless buildings and works of arts in Europe. It also describes the internal conflicts of these folks who wondered, for example, if the German people deserved the return of their Nazi-stolen art. The efforts of these dedicated service-men and -women were, naturally enough, largely overshadowed by the inarguably more important discoveries at the end of WWII, such as the truths revealed by the liberation of the concentration camps. This book is thus a wonderful contribution to an overlooked history of the time.

The end of the book describes the discovery of hidden German repositories of art; the volume and quality of art found in these hiding places is absolutely staggering. I had the pleasure of seeing Michelangelo's flawless Madonna when I was in Bruges and was riveted by her WWII story, which was not described in any detail in the materials given out by the museums there.

In summary: stick with it. The book had some problems with flow, especially in the beginning, but the payoff of the middle and ending was worth it.