Description : From the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Monuments Men "An astonishing account of a little-known American effort to save Italy's…art during World War II."—Tom Brokaw When Hitler’s armies occupied Italy in 1943, they also seized control of mankind’s greatest cultural treasures. As they had done throughout Europe, the Nazis could now plunder the masterpieces of the Renaissance, the treasures of the Vatican, and the antiquities of the Roman Empire. On the eve of the Allied invasion, General Dwight Eisenhower empowered a new kind of soldier to protect these historic riches. In May 1944 two unlikely American heroes—artist Deane Keller and scholar Fred Hartt—embarked from Naples on the treasure hunt of a lifetime, tracking billions of dollars of missing art, including works by Michelangelo, Donatello, Titian, Caravaggio, and Botticelli. With the German army retreating up the Italian peninsula, orders came from the highest levels of the Nazi government to transport truckloads of art north across the border into the Reich. Standing in the way was General Karl Wolff, a top-level Nazi officer. As German forces blew up the magnificent bridges of Florence, General Wolff commandeered the great collections of the Uffizi Gallery and Pitti Palace, later risking his life to negotiate a secret Nazi surrender with American spymaster Allen Dulles. Brilliantly researched and vividly written, the New York Times bestselling Saving Italy brings readers from Milan and the near destruction of The Last Supper to the inner sanctum of the Vatican and behind closed doors with the preeminent Allied and Axis leaders: Roosevelt, Eisenhower, and Churchill; Hitler, Göring, and Himmler. An unforgettable story of epic thievery and political intrigue, Saving Italy is a testament to heroism on behalf of art, culture, and history.
Description : Tuscany is a landscape whose cultural construction is complicated and multi-layered. It is this very complexity that this book seeks to untangle. By revealing hidden histories, we learn how food, landscape and architecture are intertwined, as well as the extent to which Italian design and contemporary consumption patterns form a legacy that draws upon the Romantic longings of a century before. In the process, this book reveals the extent to which Tuscany has been constructed by Anglos — and what has been distorted, idealized and even overlooked in the process.
Description : A compelling exploration of the many issues surrounding the restoration and restitution of Nazi-stolen art at the end of World War II At the end of World War II, the US Office of Military Government for Germany and Bavaria, through its Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives division, was responsible for the repatriation of most of the tens of thousands of artwork looted by the Nazis in the countries they had occupied. With the help of the US Army’s Monuments Men—the name given to a hand-picked group of art historians and museum professionals commissioned for this important duty—massive numbers of objects were retrieved from their wartime hiding places and inventoried for repatriation. Iris Lauterbach’s fascinating history documents the story of the Allies’ Central Collecting Point (CCP), set up in the former Nazi Party headquarters at Königsplatz in Munich, where the confiscated works were transported to be identified and sorted for restitution. This book presents her archival research on the events, people, new facts, and intrigue, with meticulous attention to the official systems, frameworks, and logistical and bureaucratic enterprise of the Munich CCP in the years from 1945 to 1949. She uncovers the stories of the people who worked there at a time of lingering political suspicions; narrates the research, conservation, and restitution process; and investigates how the works of art were managed and returned to their owners.
Description : "Churchill and Roosevelt: The Big Sleepover at the White House" received the 2018 Author Academy Award in Historical Fiction. A London playwright has converted the work to a stage play with plans to premiere in England in 2019 or early 2020. This book was written for those who enjoy history and political intrigue. It will appeal to those who enjoy reading about leadership, particularly in an arena where differences in political views, temperament, and agenda had to be overcome. Without collaboration and compromise, the world as we presently know it might be considerably different. Even though the story occurred over 75 years ago, the protagonists speak in first person voice, not knowing the outcome of the crisis they must confront. Readers may not have known that Winston Churchill visited Franklin Roosevelt two weeks after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. Roosevelt insisted that Winston sleep in the White House. The two men had much in common—more than they realized. There are plenty of other surprises along the way—a chance encounter with Adolph Hitler, a fishing expedition, a shared mentor, a favorite movie, a movie producer spy, Commander Ian Fleming’s visit to the Oval Office, and canine diplomacy to name but a few. During their time together, Churchill and Roosevelt shared many private moments as they forged a bond of friendship, trust, and cooperation that enabled them to defeat their countries’ common enemies. How their relationship evolved is dramatized and personified in this book. Most of the narrative is based on documentation, but what went on behind the view of the public eye is subject to the imagination and suspense. The author fleshes out the story with conversations that may have occurred over the course of three weeks but not necessarily provable. Lastly, the writer sets out to humanize these two epic leaders of the 20th century. He reveals not only their fears and tears but also their joys, humor, passions, temperaments, and schemes. He attempts to “break into their minds” as the two men join together to save the Western world from ruin. The author has also published: “Paw Tracks Here and Abroad: A Dog’s Tale,” (2014) and “Mr. Froggy’s Dilemma,” (2018). Website: www.jamesmikelwilson.com
Description : Uses photographs to tell the untold story of the "Monuments Men" and their discovery of more than 1,000 repositories, many of which contained paintings, sculpture, furniture, and other treasures stolen by the Nazis.