The Monuments Men: Critical Book Review Essay

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World War II-one of the most devastating events in history that will always be remembered whether by textbooks, personal accounts, or merely just stories about how one man could have done the impossible: conquered the world. As students today and future generations learn about the War, they are exposed to the battles, leaders, political parties, heroes, and turmoil of this period; however, important events that often were overshadowed are slowly becoming forgotten and neglected. Robert Edsel, in his book The Monuments Men, tells the story of the “greatest treasure hunt in history” and the race to sa
The Monuments Men is set during World War II, but primarily focuses on the Monuments Men and their activities from June 1944 to May 1945
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In addition to the commitment of the Monuments Men, ordinary people were recognized by Edsel for their dedication. For example, Rose Valland, the volunteer at the Jeu De Paume Museum was described by Edsel as “a fighter hiding behind a façade” (Edsel 343). Moreover, an unnamed caretaker, from Dampierre, Germany, who found the Bossuet letters that some ignorant Germans used as toilet paper, cleaned them, and put them back in their proper place in the library (Edsel 202). Edsel praises and emphasizes these courageous men and women.
Although Edsel paid most attention to the determined nature of the men and women, he also seemed to accentuate the reason why the Monuments Men were there through imagery and vivid descriptions of the same destruction that they were there to prevent. At Monte Cassino, Edsel describes the statues of angels that had once decorated the church in the huge pile of rubble that contained the remains of the basilica; in Normandy, France, The Hotel de Ville, a nearby museum, and “centuries of accumulated treasures were reduced to dust”; and lastly when Walker Hancock arrived at Aachen, Germany, he described it as “a…

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