For the entire history of human civilization, gold has enraptured people around the globe. The Nazis was no less enthralled by it, and felt that gold was the solution to funding Hitler’s war machine. Gold was also on the mind of FDR across the Atlantic, as he worked with Europe’s other leaders to bring the United States and the rest of the world out of a severe depression. FDR was hardly the first head of state to turn to gold in difficult times. Throughout history, it has been the refuge of both nations and people in trouble, working at times when nothing else does. Desperate people can buy a loaf of bread or bribe a border guard. Gold can get desperate nations oil to keep tanks running or munitions to fight a war. If the price is right, there is always someone somewhere willing to buy or sell gold. And it was to become the Nazi’s most important medium of exchange during the war.
Chasing Gold is the story of how the Nazis attempted to grab Europe’s gold to finance history’s bloodiest war. It is filled with high drama and close escapes, laying bare the palate of human emotions. Walking through the tale are giants of world history, as well as ordinary people called upon to undertake heroic action in an extraordinary time.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
It’s really all in the details–and you won’t find a lack of them in this book. Whilst this is a very interesting book, and very well researched–the details cause it to lag a bit here and there.
I was fascinated by all the struggles various countries went through trying to protect their national treasures from the Nazis, and I loved the information on the various political alliances that were formed around the idea of protecting that gold.
George M. Taber writes intelligently and entertainingly and manages to tell a complete story worth reading in this book, but I could have done without some of the minutiae. The smaller details about the removal of the gold, the loading and unloading, in my opinion, took away from the interesting part of the story, in my opinion.
Overall, I still thought this was a really good book and feel comfortable recommending it to anyone interested in this period of history.
This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own.