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Download The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History Audiobook, by Robert M. Edsel Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,199 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Robert M. Edsel, Bret Witter Narrator: Bret Witter, Jeremy Davidson Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2009 ISBN: 9781427206923
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At the same time Adolf Hitler was attempting to take over the western world, his armies were methodically seeking and hoarding the finest art treasures in Europe. The Fuehrer had begun cataloguing the art he planned to collect as well as the art he would destroy: "degenerate" works he despised.


In a race against time, behind enemy lines, often unarmed, a special force of American and British museum directors, curators, art historians, and others, called the Monuments Men, risked their lives scouring Europe to prevent the destruction of thousands of years of culture.

Focusing on the eleven-month period between D-Day and V-E Day, this fascinating account follows six Monuments Men and their impossible mission to save the world's great art from the Nazis.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “That so much of what they stole was eventually recovered by this tiny band of determined people was nothing short of miraculous. It makes for a terrific story.”

    Washington Post Book World

  • “Edsel has presented their achievements in documentaries and photographs. He and Witter…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..[that] in the midst of a total war, armies systematically sought to mitigate cultural loss.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “This intriguing story, told largely through letters written by the rescuers and now in various government archives, will appeal to many general and military history readers.”

    Library Journal

  • “This book recounts how a small group of art historians and restorers, curators, and archivists sought to save art treasures during WWII. It reads more like an adventure novel than a mere retelling of history, especially after the unit’s mission changes from preserving treasures from bombing to recovering looted artwork. And that’s the tone that reader Jeremy Davidson delivers. He varies the pacing effectively, based on the nature of the text. He speeds up slightly during exciting action-filled sequences. He reads letters and documents with a flatter tone, making it easy for listeners to discern when the document stops and the author’s words resume. He also gives a slight but not intrusive or cartoonish British accent to quotations by Britishers.”

    AudioFile

  • A #1 New York Times bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sherrie | 2/17/2014

    " A fascinating glimpse inside some of the lives of the heroes that helped save much of Europe's culture. I'm not normally a non-fiction reader, but when it comes to WWII, I am fascinated. This was a different view into the war and I was very intrigued by it and the book did not dissapoint. Makes me want to go find out even more about these great men and women, but I think Edsel did a wonderful job with his research. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gwen Haynes | 2/4/2014

    " I really enjoyed reading this book. I found it fascinating that this part of our history existed during the war as you never heard about it being retold when you would watch programs or read books on the war. It is a very good book and an easy read. I highly recommend it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Libby | 1/29/2014

    " For history buffs, art lovers and WWII mavens, this is a seriously good read. Many art and history lovers mourn the losses of cultural icons to WWII, while at the same time, military buffs marvel that more was not lost. Both sorts of people have sound reasoning behind these viewpoints. This is the book that relates how those views clashed and commingled in the Allied command during WWII, resulting in the formation of a group of unsung and underpaid heroes who didn't hesitate to risk their flesh and blood to save paint and wood and stone. They braved record cold, enemy fire and contempt and disbelief from their own side to rescue and preserve great art, architecture and cultural oddities from fire, flood and thieving Nazis. Using written records and the memories of surviving "Monuments Men", Edsel tells us their stories. Most of us are at least minimally aware that the Nazis were enthusiastic art thieves, storing their loot in some wildly improbable places. In the last days of the war and immediately thereafter, the monuments men became detectives, searching medieval castles, salt mines, railroad sidings and lake bottoms for looted treasures. They found and restored incredible marvels, created by great geniuses from our human past, and yet not all that was looted has been located. What a tale they lived! These guys earned their pay and our respect and admiration. This book is thick and heavy, but worth the the heavy lifting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Phyllis | 1/26/2014

    " Fabulous! I couldn't put this down and then recommended it to my husband. Edsel chronicles the race to save cultural treasures from the effects of World War II. Some high ranking Nazis regularly looted the countries they conquered for their own personal collections. A handful of men recruited from American museums stood up to high ranking military officers and saved many architecturally significant buildings, rare paintings and sculptures from destruction. They also helped tracked down these treasures and return them to their rightful owners after the war. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Wescbrown | 1/18/2014

    " Fantastic story and great read! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dan Rogers | 1/17/2014

    " I found the book to be well written and hard to put down. Definitely needed the map on the inside of the front and back covers as well as the brief profiles of several of the key players to be able to keep track of everything. The ending nearly brought me to tears. What a debt of gratitude the entire world owes to these individuals for their devotion. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jason | 1/12/2014

    " An illuminating journey into the world of art rescue and preservation in WWII era Europe. The documentary "The Rape of Europa" is an excellent companion to this book (the author was a coproducer). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 R. Sinnema | 1/11/2014

    " protecting cultural heritage during WWII "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie | 12/31/2013

    " long but very interesting true story of the few soldiers with even fewer resources who were assigned the task of protecting Europe's art treasures at the end of WWII. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Darcy | 12/14/2013

    " Didn't finish this one. I felt like it just didn't go anywhere. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Camille | 11/20/2013

    " Fascinating read. Well told story of the men and women who worked to protect and restore Europe' art treasures and buildings during WWII. Harrowing stories of art rescued in the nick of time and other works that did not survive. Excellent audiobook. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kc | 11/15/2013

    " Sometimes slow going but very interesting look at the efforts to preserve great works of art during WWII. It really makes you stop and think about an entirely different kind of wartime atrocity - the looting and/or destroying of cultural artifacts (think looting of Iraq museums). "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ginger | 11/10/2013

    " Very interesting read. Totally hooked once it started rolling along. I loved learning about a little known facet of WW2 history and these clever and brave men. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tracey | 10/24/2013

    " It was a very good read. The book in non-fiction, and reads like a novel. I learned a lot. And came to dislike Hitler, even more. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mosunflower | 9/5/2013

    " An interesting bit of history but for me the book is just too long. I would have enjoyed it much more as a National Geographic story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sherry Young | 7/20/2013

    " An interesting story rarely mentioned in regards to WWII. Details of the various characters and Army units made reading a bit tedious. Overall I found the history interesting, especially as I am planning a visit to Germany. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrew | 3/18/2013

    " Poets and museum curators vs. Nazis. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jen Johnson | 1/28/2013

    " i really liked this book, in fact i've been looking for more material covering the same topic since i've read it. great read, gives a new perspective on the war and also on the mid century art world. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Gwenanne Edwards | 1/17/2013

    " Extremely interesting subject and seemingly thorough research, but overall shoddily written. And the descriptor "dapper" for George Stout was used 20x too many. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robert Rivera | 11/11/2012

    " An amazing read about the small group of men who essentially volunteered to go to war in the name of trying to save some piece of western civilizations artistic heritage from the Nazi pillagers and the decimation of battle. This is among my favorite books about WWII. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Reade | 7/19/2012

    " Very detailed and Interesting. Not exactly a page turner since it is mainly a statement of facts. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gail | 7/3/2012

    " The story of an unsung group of WW II soldiers -- former architects, museum directors, and art restorers -- who were charged with saving some of the greatest art of Western culture. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sally | 1/2/2012

    " Phenomenal account of an untold part of World War II. We are in debt to the "Monument Men" in the war - forever. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 G Hodges | 8/2/2011

    " Good people and bad people all because of art. It isn't just a painting after all "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kensingtonpalace | 7/28/2011

    " Fantastic and moving book, clearly describing a little-known but important story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jae | 5/17/2011

    " Great book, but not quite Beautiful Loot so it did not get 5 stars "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laurie | 4/26/2011

    " Amazing adventure by a very special group.
    Very worth reading. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Judy | 11/1/2010

    " This book covered a subject that I was only tangentially acquainted with. The author made the history come alive and made the men who "found" the hidden art treasures appropriated by the Nazis seem very real and very alive. An easy, interesting read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robin | 8/23/2010

    " I really enjoyed learning about an aspect of WWII that I was completely unaware of. It really emphasizes the total devastation that Hitler was about to perpetrate on humanity. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sean | 8/5/2010

    " It was very good and historically accurate, however I thought it was going to be about something else than what it was. So I'll give this one 3 stars. :) "

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About the Author

Robert M. Edsel is the author of the New York times bestseller The Monuments Men and Rescuing da Vinci and co-producer of the award-winning documentary film The Rape of Europa. He is also the founder and president of the Monuments Men Foundation, a recipient of the National Humanities Medal, and a trustee at the National WWII Museum. After living in Florence for five years, he now resides in Dallas, Texas.

About the Narrators

Bret Witter has coauthored eight New York Times bestsellers. His books have been translated into more than thirty languages and have sold more than two million copies worldwide. He lives in Decatur, Georgia.

Jeremy Davidson played the role of Master Sergeant Chase Moran for five seasons in the television series Army Wives, and has guest-starred on numerous shows, including Brothers & SistersCold CaseWithout a Trace, and Boston Legal. He has appeared extensively onstage, including opposite John Goodman and Brenda Fricker in the Geffen Playhouse production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. An Earphones Award–winning narrator, he has also given voice to a number of bestselling audiobooks.