Steven's Reviews > The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History

The Monuments Men by Robert M. Edsel
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's review
Oct 09, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: audio, history, nonfiction, library
Read from October 09 to 15, 2012

While the reader's attempts at accents often fell rather flat, it didn't stop this from being an interesting read that chronicles the work of a tiny, rather haphazard group of people in both the US and British military who were tasked with the often close-to-impossible job of recovering art and artifacts stolen and sequestered by, for the most part, the Nazis, with the Italians having swiped a smaller share of things. This is a tale of determination and madness -- the "Nero Doctrine" that Hitler came up with at one point is chilling, and was, despite the efforts of his own followers to counter it, almost successful. This small group of men did their best to contend with the rigors of war, the horrors that emerged as the Allies moved across Europe, Army personnel who were often reluctant to deal with the art and artifacts, terrible conditions in some of the locations used for storage, and more, and that was without reckoning with the oncoming Red Army Trophy Brigades, whose job was to gather as much as possible of valuable materiel as reparations -- no matter who it belonged to.

If there's anything that I would have liked to have heard more about in the book, it was the Trophy Brigades -- but I suspect that's a subject for a book all of its own.

It';s truly sad that there has been no military group like this since World War II. The world is, I fear, poorer for it in the loss of art and history.

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Reading Progress

10.0% "...not actually the abridged audio version, but the full one. And interesting so far."
75.0% "Fascinating stuff. I knew the bare bones of some of this, but it's filling in all the blank spots."
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