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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, 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, Robert Edsel, Bret Witter Narrator: Bret Witter, Jeremy Davidson Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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At the same time that 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 cataloging the art he planned to collect as well as the art he would destroy: the so-called “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 mission to save the world’s great art from the Nazis.

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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.”


  • A #1 New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by 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 by 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 by 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 by 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. "

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