From Publishers Weekly
WWII was the most destructive war in history and caused the greatest dislocation of cultural artifacts. Hundreds of thousands of items remain missing. The main burden fell to a few hundred men and women, curators and archivists, artists and art historians from 13 nations. Their task was to save and preserve what they could of Europe's great art, and they were called the Monuments Men. (Coincidentally or not, this book appears only briefly after Ilaria Dagnini Brey's The Venus Fixers: The Untold Story of the Allied Soldiers Who Saved Italy's Art During World War II, Reviews, June 1.) Edsel has presented their achievements in documentaries and photographs. He and Witter (coauthor of the bestselling Dewey) are no less successful here. Focusing on the organization's role in northwest Europe, they describe the Monuments Men from their initial mission to limit combat damage to structures and artifacts to their changed focus of locating missing items. Most had been stolen by the Nazis. In southern Germany alone, over a thousand caches emerged, containing everything from church bells to insect collections. The story is both engaging and inspiring. In the midst of a total war, armies systematically sought to mitigate cultural loss. (Sept. 3)
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--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"After World War Two I served as a British member of the 'Monuments' section in Germany. Our task, I believe, was truly important - we were restoring to Europe evidence of its own civilization, which the War seemed virtually to have destroyed - and I was lucky to have had a chance to participate. It is excellent that Mr Edsel has now recorded this remarkable episode, and I am grateful to him for devoting so much energy to telling the stories of those involved" -- Anne Olivier Bell "In the great storytelling tradition of my longtime friend, Stephen Ambrose, Monuments Men is a marvelous addition to the many great books on World War II and is a reminder that we fought to save western civilization as well as our freedom. Robert Edsel's brilliant work tells the story of how a small unit of American soldiers raced across the front lines in Europe to rescue the art treasures of western culture that had been stolen by the Nazis. Edsel's book is a thriller, in the style of Indiana Jones, but in this case it's all fact and great history. I read the book from cover to cover - couldn't put it down!" Dr. Gordon 'Nick' Mueller, CEO/President and co-founder of the National World War II Museum "Highly Readable ... a remarkable history" Washington Post "Engaging and inspiring" Publishers Weekly
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