Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Robert M. Edsel | “Finally, A Woman!”
Uncategorized / November 20, 2009

I recently appeared on the Morning Joe program alongside legendary historian Doris Kearns Goodwin to discuss my new book, The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History. I had just finished telling the hosts, Mika Brzezinksi and Willie Geist, how excited I was to write about a woman heroine in the dramatic story of this small group of museum directors, curators, art historians, architects and artists who volunteered to save so much of the great cultural treasures of our western world, including paintings by Leonardo da Vinci and sculpture by Michelangelo, from the destruction of World War II and theft by Hitler and the Nazis. In fact, I stated my belief that Rose Valland was the greatest heroine of World War ll. Upon making that statement, Doris Kearns Goodwin raised her fists triumphantly and said, “Finally, a woman!” This small group, numbering no more than a dozen men on the ground within about a month of the D-Day Normandy landings, and no more than 60 or so in all of Europe responsible for protecting structures (hence the moniker “Monuments Men”) and other works of art, were faced with an impossible task. With an average…