Hotavio'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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Jan 27, 2010

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bookshelves: books-on-art, books-on-france, wwii
Read in January, 2010

The Monuments Men were a small band of soldiers whose job was to assess damages to cathedrals, statues, and other relics during WWII and to advise on and/or exact the appropriate measures to restore or protect such treasures. As the Monuments Men advanced with the front in Europe, their job focused on reclaiming the works illicitly confiscated by the Nazis.

The Monuments Men follows about 8 of these soldiers very closely and also includes some of their correspondence in a revealing look on a little known subject.

Edsel focuses on human element in war as each soldier is a career and family man. Perhaps the only thing each of these men love more than art is their loved ones. For some soldiers, the art and the family were even closely interlinked. I enjoyed the combination of two of my favorite subjects. My only complaint is that the book tried to follow too many people, tackling too many points of view. There hardly seems to be a main character (lieutenant George Stout gets more concentration than anyone else, barely)and the book has us jumping from front to front sometimes confusingly. I also thought too much emphasis was placed on certain relationships in the book. The photos of soldiers carrying around priceless artwork is entertaining though.
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Reading Progress

01/05/2010 page 40
8.46% "getting some reading done!!!"
01/09/2010 page 130
27.48% "Its amazing how close some of the world's irreplacables came to disaster."
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