Saving Italy: The Race to Rescue a Nation's Treasures from the Nazis

Saving Italy: The Race to Rescue a Nation's Treasures from the Nazis


By (author) Robert M. Edsel

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  • Publisher: WW Norton & Co
  • Format: Hardback | 480 pages
  • Dimensions: 163mm x 239mm x 43mm | 862g
  • Publication date: 5 July 2013
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0393082415
  • ISBN 13: 9780393082418
  • Illustrations note: 60 illustrations; maps
  • Sales rank: 143,805

Product description

On the eve of the 1943 invasion of Italy, just weeks before Allied bombs nearly destroyed Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper in Milan, General Dwight Eisenhower empowered a new kind of soldier to protect mankind's greatest cultural treasures. In May 1944, two unlikely American heroes - an artist and a scholar - embarked from Naples on the treasure hunt of a lifetime, tracking billions of dollars of stolen art, including works by Donatello, Titian, Caravaggio and Botticelli. As the Germans blew up the historic bridges of Florence and Allied air raids threatened Michelangelo's David, a heretofore-unknown SS general held the art hostage while negotiating a secret Nazi surrender with American spies. A gripping narrative that will appeal to fans of history, art, travel and adventure, Saving Italy takes us from the battlefields of Monte Cassino to the Vatican and behind closed doors with the great Allied and Axis leaders: Roosevelt, Eisenhower and Churchill; Hitler, Goring and Himmler.

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Author information

Robert M. Edsel is the founder and president of the Monuments Men Foundation, a recipient of the National Humanities Medal and a trustee at the (US) National WWII Museum.

Review quote

"...Robert M Edsel's vivid, keenly researched and sometimes heart-rending narrative..." Jonathan Keates, Literary Review "...a rip-roaring story...carried off with verve and charm." Times Literary Supplement "...this fascinating book tells the story of just how close much of Italy's architectural and artistic heritage came to total obliteration during World War II." The Mail on Sunday "[Edsel's] story makes a curious coda to a very tangled but always fascinating tale...he tells it with both panache and precision." Richard Morrison, The Times "An extensively researched, pacily written account..." Galleries