Debbie'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 23, 09

bookshelves: historical, military, non-fiction
Read in October, 2009

I received this book as a review copy from the publisher. "The Monuments Men" uses letters written by the Monuments Men and other documents to tell the story why the MFAA section was created and what eight of those men encountered while doing work in Normandy, France and in Germany.

The author assumes the reader doesn't know much about WWII and so fills in the details about the war occurring around them as we learn where they went and what they found and did there. The first part is mainly about how the MFAA section was formed and the problems they encountered in the field because no one else in the military seemed to know about them. The book picks up in excitement (at least, for me) once they start getting organized and start tracking down the movable artwork. This part reads like a detective story with the fate of both the artwork and the men searching for it in question.

The story jumps around a bit in time and place as we switch from one Monument Man to another. The author gives plenty of information so the reader will remember which man this is and what he was last doing, but this started to feel repetitious to me near the end. Also, some stories brought up small points that were never resolved (like a request from a priest to a Monuments Man to get several boys who where his fire brigade released from the Allies--we never know if he succeeded). But perhaps this was because that information was never given in the letters and documents used to make this book.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I think it would most appeal to people who love artwork or who want to know everything there is to know about WWII.
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