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A fascinating story poorly told
on June 3, 1999
Those of you who read Lynn Nicholas' astonishing The Rape of Europa will be disappointed by this book, which is in many ways a necessary supplement to Nicholas' spine-tingling work. The record of greed, fear, coercion and barbarism visible behind the glittering surface of the Parisian art world in the 1940's is a truly moving human story. The photographs, all of now-vanished works of modern art, provide a valuable record for the historian, as many of the lost works have never been published. Unfortunately, the book is nearly ruined by a flat and pedestrian writing style. The author may have taken years to write this book, and conducted hundreds of interviews, but one would never know that. Feliciano writes as if he were a USA Today reporter - utterly superficial treatments of serious issues and no sign whatsoever of any personal investment in the story. The art and personalities of the period deserved a better historian than Mr. Feliciano, I am sorry to say. Useful for the documentary information only.