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Rescuing Da Vinci: Hitler and the Nazis Stole Europe's Great Art - America and Her Allies Recovered It Hardcover – December 15, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0977434909 ISBN-10: 0977434907 Edition: 1st

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Rescuing Da Vinci: Hitler and the Nazis Stole Europe's Great Art - America and Her Allies Recovered It + Saving Italy: The Race to Rescue a Nation's Treasures from the Nazis + The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 302 pages
  • Publisher: Laurel Publishing, LLC; 1 edition (December 15, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0977434907
  • ISBN-13: 978-0977434909
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 9.6 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #137,584 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

From The Wall Street Journal, Dec 15, 2006: "Mr. Edsel has collected hundreds of photographs documenting the extent of the Nazis' looting and the Allies' efforts to protect or rescue art treasures. We see Goering's private museum of stolen masterpieces, American soldiers recovering Leonardo's "Lady With an Ermine" and Rembrandt's rolled-up "Night Watch" being transported across Holland to safety. Particularly memorable is a photograph of the massive "Winged Victory" sculpture in the Louvre being lowered down the museum steps with ropes and pulleys before to its evacuation in advance of the Nazi invasion. One shudders with gratitude -- for the fact that the piece survived the war and for a book that reminds us of what is at stake when the enemies of civilization seize power." --From The Wall Street Journal, Dec 15, 2006:

From The Chicago Tribune, Dec 3, 2006: "Rescuing Da Vinci by Robert M. Edsel...is a crime story, writ so large it covers a continent. It gathers together, for the first time, nearly 500 photos documenting the Nazi theft of tens of thousands of artworks from European museums and private collections. And it details the immense, painstaking, though little-recognized, efforts of Allied armies to recover and return these precious items." --From The Chicago Tribune, Dec 3, 2006:

From the Publisher

From The Wall Street Journal, Dec 15, 2006:

"Mr. Edsel has collected hundreds of photographs documenting the extent of the Nazis' looting and the Allies' efforts to protect or rescue art treasures. We see Goering's private museum of stolen masterpieces, American soldiers recovering Leonardo's "Lady With an Ermine" and Rembrandt's rolled-up "Night Watch" being transported across Holland to safety. Particularly memorable is a photograph of the massive "Winged Victory" sculpture in the Louvre being lowered down the museum steps with ropes and pulleys before to its evacuation in advance of the Nazi invasion. One shudders with gratitude -- for the fact that the piece survived the war and for a book that reminds us of what is at stake when the enemies of civilization seize power."

From The Chicago Tribune, Dec 3, 2006:

"Rescuing Da Vinci by Robert M. Edsel...is a crime story, writ so large it covers a continent. It gathers together, for the first time, nearly 500 photos documenting the Nazi theft of tens of thousands of artworks from European museums and private collections. And it details the immense, painstaking, though little-recognized, efforts of Allied armies to recover and return these precious items."


More About the Author

Robert M. Edsel is the #1 New York Times best-selling author of the non-fiction books, Rescuing Da Vinci, The Monuments Men and Saving Italy. Mr. Edsel is also the co-producer of the award-winning documentary film, The Rape of Europa. Mr. Edsel published Beyond the Dreams of Avarice: The Hermann Goering Collection by Nancy Yeide, the first study devoted to Goering's entire paintings collection. In addition, he is the Founder and Chairman of the nonprofit, Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art, which received the National Humanities Medal. Mr. Edsel has been awarded the "Texas Medal of Arts" Award; the "President's Call to Service" Award; and the "Hope for Humanity" Award, presented by the Dallas Holocaust Museum. He also serves as a Trustee at the National WWII Museum in New Orleans. A film based on Mr. Edsel's book, The Monuments Men, directed by and starring Academy Award winner George Clooney, was released in February 2014. The film also stars Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Hugh Bonneville, Jean Dujardin and Bob Balaban.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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#86 in Books > History
#86 in Books > History

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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I read this book after seeing the review in the NY Times.
Jennifer L. Mahoney
"Rescuing Da Vinci" by Robert M. Edsel. Subtitled: Hitler And The Nazis Stole Europe's Great Art, America And Her Allies Recovered It".
John P. Rooney
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in art history, history, WWII, or the Holocaust.
P. Blevins

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Paula on December 21, 2006
Format: Hardcover
It's hard to imagine why this EXTRAORDINARY story about EXTRAORDINARY men (and women) is just now being revealed to a mass audience. As a civilization, we owe the salvation of our culture to the efforts of the heroes in "Rescuing Da Vinci." HATS OFF TOO to Mr. Edsel for his vision of putting forth the greatest "untold" story of WWII in a brilliantly assembled book. It is the PERFECT gift for members of the "Greatest Generation," art collectors, war buffs, museum buffs or any thinker. The breathtaking pictures make it a superb gift for photographers, designers, architects and the like. Plus, I've discovered it's a wonderful "conversation piece" for my coffee table!
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77 of 82 people found the following review helpful By C. Rawson-Tetley on January 31, 2007
Format: Hardcover
You could be forgiven for dismissing this book, if you only went by titles, as just another book that is cashing in on the Da Vinci myth in concert with a patriotic nostalgia for the Second World War as a time of moral absolutes. You would be wrong. The photographs are superb, many published for the first time, and the accompanying text is precise,jargon free and direct. Robert Edsel may, as he says, be obsessed with the subject but his approach is measured and clear. I am an English fine art academic and heard of this book via a small article in an English newspaper and was sufficiently intrigued to order the book from Amazon in the US (it is not available in Great Britain). I have recommended it to many of my friends (not something to do lightly) as it compliments and extends, visually, much of the existing literature on the subject of art theft.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Christian Schlect VINE VOICE on December 31, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An effective pictorial survey of the cultural crimes waged by Germany during World War II.

That much plundered European art was found, protected and returned to rightful owners by the U.S. military in these difficult days is a bright star in our nation's history. Mr. Edsel has delivered a fitting tribute to the many U.S. and British art experts, and others, who volunteered to do what was possible to make aright the unpardonable cultural crimes committed by the Nazis.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth M. Curtin on December 21, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I thought I knew about every World War II story. This one blows me away. On page 129, there is a select list of Cultural Institutions that were lead by Monuments Men following the war, and it includes everything from the National Gallery and the Met, to the Library of Congress. These men were responsible not only for restoring monuments and treasures, but also for influencing art and culture as we know it.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Shannon Deason on September 21, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the most fascinating books i have ever read. The period images are amazing, just the photo of italian masons bricking up Michaelangelo's iconic David is worth the purchase. After reading this book I was stunned that so few art treasures were destroyed. I had no idea that much of the treasures at the National Gallery of Art in D.C. was stored at Biltmore because of its remote setting. I was also blown away to see the images of workman removing winged victory from the Louvre, I just had no idea all of this went on leading up to the war and during the war. The German pillaging of the great European art treasures is disgusting of course, especially the art they looted from the weathy Jewry like the Rothchilds and others, some of which even to this day are trying to get back art work that is rightly theirs. I highly recommend this great book to anyone interested in art, history, art history, or frankly has an inquisive mind. I want to thank the authors for a job well done.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By David L. Lowrie Jr. on January 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Rescuing Da Vinci is an interesting look into the history of some of the most loved art works of our time. After reading the stories, one gains a new appreciation for the art that we are able to view today; thanks to a very brave team of rescuers.

There has not been much focus in the past on this side of the war and Hitler's cruel obsession to gain and destroy these works.

Robert M. Edsel has did a superb job combining pictures and stories to help us glance back into our past.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By John P. Rooney on August 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover
"Rescuing Da Vinci" by Robert M. Edsel.
Subtitled: Hitler And The Nazis Stole Europe's Great Art, America And Her Allies Recovered It". Laurel Publishing, LLV, Dallas, 2006.

After borrowing this book from the Plymouth Public Library, I was initially disappointed when I opened the book. It seemed that the book was all pictures and NO text! The book has some 300 pages and I would estimate that there are some 25 full pages of text, including the index and bibliography in the back of the book. Having said all this, it is my opinion, after having read the book that all those pictures were required to tell the complete story.

Page after page, photo after photo, I would find a painting or sculpture that I recalled from my art history classes, which was a long time ago. The book would show the 1940s picture on one page, with a person, perhaps in a period German uniform, "collecting" the item. And, then, on the facing page, often in full color, would be a present day view of the object. See, for example, pages 204 and 205, were Jan Vermeer's "The Artist's Studio, 1665-1666" is displayed on page 204 in black and white and in full color on page 205. This mixture of historical fact and present day view is carried out throughout the book.

The book begins with an explicit condemnation of the Nazi conquest. It is shown that the Nazi Germans prepared rather extensive documents identifying the art works of various nations and earmarking those works for transportation to the Third Reich. This is an amazing example of the arrogance of the Teutonic thoroughness of Hitler, Göring and the rest of the Nazi leadership.
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