Monday, June 30, 2014

The Monuments Men, by Robert M. Edsel

Robert M. Edsel. The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History. New York: Bay Back Books/Little, Brown, and Company, 2009. 473 pages. ISBN 9780316240055.

I first became aware of this book when I saw the commercials for the film. Looking for good books to read for our book club, my fellow club members and I were considering a list of books that had recent movie tie-ins, and this book grabbed our attention. World War II has always been interesting to me, partly because my father was involved in it as a radio operator in a bombing squadron that flew out of England in 1944. After completing 34 missions over Europe my father was brought back to the U.S. for training and possible deployment in the Pacific theater when the war ended and he was spared.

Edsel evokes the war through his clear and engaging prose. Although it's chock full of facts and figures, The Monuments Men reads like a novel. At first I had a hard time keeping all the main characters straight, but eventually their characters and history become developed and I found myself rooting for them to succeed. I really enjoyed this book, and I'm looking forward to seeing the movie; it's coming up soon in my Netflix list...

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