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In the Dark Streets Shineth: A 1941 Christmas Eve Story Hardcover – October 12, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 56 pages
  • Publisher: Shadow Mountain; Har/DVD edition (October 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606418319
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606418314
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #531,502 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 3-6–This is partly an account of the 1941 Christmas Eve addresses to the nation by President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill from the White House; partly a short history of two songs (“Oh Little Town of Bethlehem” and “I'll Be Home for Christmas”); and partly a photo album of Americans at Christmastime during World War II. Because of this scattered approach, the purpose is a bit unclear; the subtitle suggests that the focus is that famous 1941 Christmas Eve address, but the first line of the book, “Music is a part of our history,” leads readers to expect a greater emphasis on that subject. McCullough doesn't do justice to either topic and the random selection of period photos fails to shed any additional light. The book is handsome, and the full texts of Churchill's and Roosevelt's speeches are included, which is a bonus. However, this isn't particularly successful as either a Christmas book or an account of an important moment in history.Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review

It s an unexpected but winning combination: the Mormon Tabernacle Choir; a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, whose books have also received two National Book Awards; and a small press in Salt Lake City that publishes a dozen books each year. --Publishers Weekly

Historian McCullough, known for his biographies of Harry Truman and John Adams, has written a real gem of a book. Just days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Prime Minister Winston Churchill and U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt met at the White House on Christmas Eve, 1941. As war raged throughout the world, the two leaders delivered a powerful message. Don t let the small page count of this book fool you. Packed in its 56 pages is a message that is as meaningful today as it was 60 years ago. This book also comes with a DVD recording of McCullough s presentation of this story at the Mormon Tabernacle Choir s 2009 Christmas concert. --The Costco Connection, October 2010

More About the Author

David McCullough has twice received the Pulitzer Prize, for Truman and John Adams, and twice received the National Book Award, for The Path Between the Seas and Mornings on Horseback; His other widely praised books are 1776, Brave Companions, The Great Bridge, and The Johnstown Flood. He has been honored with the National Book Foundation Distinguished Contribution to American Letters Award, the National Humanities Medal, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Customer Reviews

This is very short book with very interesting facts.
C. H.
McCullough's books are based on true historical events that are well-documented; unlike many authors who write "history" as they would like for it to have been.
B. Welch
I purchased this book because I love to read David McCullough and this was a book that I had not heard about.
John R. Northside High School Class 61

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

81 of 81 people found the following review helpful By wogan TOP 100 REVIEWER on October 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
At first I was disappointed when I received this book, I expected more of a story. Then I put the DVD into the player and listened to David McCullough tell the story of 2 Christmas Carols with the backing of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. This is an excerpt from a 2009 PBS program. It only lasts 10 minutes but it is powerful. He relates how `Little Town of Bethlehem' was written as well as `I'll Be Home for Christmas`. Pictures are shown of Roosevelt and Churchill at the lighting of the National Christmas Tree in 1941- certainly a dark and scary time for the world. Then the story of the 2 Carols with appropriate pictures and his summing up is shown, "History can be a great source of strength and affirmation in difficult, dangerous times. And the words and music we love, and that have stood the test of time, mean still more when we know the story".

The narration and pictures are included in this small book, as well as the short speeches of Roosevelt and Churchill. It would take a tougher heart than mine not to shed a tear. This book is a touching and appropriate gift for history and Christmas lovers and especially for those who share memories of WWII or their loved ones that have been far away from home serving their country on Christmas.
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful By jonesy on October 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I wasn't sure what to expect with this book - I bought it, read it, and absolutely loved it. It totally got me in the Christmas spirit. I love anything by David McCullough, but there was something about this particular Christmas story. I love that it is a book and DVD combination - the DVD is amazing and so inspiring. A great Christmas gift for others, but I would also recommend having a copy of your own.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Customer Bob on October 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What a gem this book is! The narrative that David McCullough weaves as he provides background on two favorite Christmas songs, intersecting them with Roosevelt's radio address from Christmas Eve, 1941, is compelling, illuminating, and touching. I would have to agree that watching the DVD (included with the book), where the songs are brought to life by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, adds significantly to the experience. The book is beautiful to look at and read; the DVD is spectacular, musically and visually. As a package, it's an exquisite and apt reminder of music's power to offer comfort and guidance in troubled times. Refreshingly free of the glitz, showiness, and superficiality so rampant in Christmas offerings these days, "In the Dark Streets Shineth" is one of the most heartfelt and genuine treatments of the Christmas spirit I've seen in years. Very enthusiastically recommended.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Noelle the Dreamer on November 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover
One of the many things a friend and neighbour often does for me is share the latest additions to her personal library. I love stories, especially when related to real facts. I especially like the Second World War Era albeit I cannot rightly say why, but combined with the advent of Christmas, I am always spellbound!This one can only be described as a gem!

In the Dark Streets Shineth or a 1941 Christmas Eve Story as told by David McCullough relates the meeting and subsequent addresses by President Roosevelt and Prime minister Winston Churchill on the 24th of December 1941.

As President Roosevelt went on to say: "Our strongest weapon in this war is the conviction of dignity and brotherhood of man which Christmas day signifies".

In turn the Prime Minister would declare: "Here in the midst of war...here amid all the tumult, we have tonight the peace of the spirit in each cottage home and in every generous heart...
Here then for one night only, each home...should be a brightly lighted island of happiness and peace."

In this book you will find uplifting stories behind well loved songs such as "O Little Town of Bethlehem" and the unforgettable "I'll be home for Christmas" and marvelous photographs you will be able to share with the whole family.

In the Dark Streets Shineth is the sort of book that is sure to find its rightful place in your personal library and will surely be treasured for years to come.

I give it a 5 stars!

Please note this book review reflects my opinion only. I was neither asked to review it or to give it a positive review.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By dv on October 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I too was expecting more of an actual story, and was a bit disappointed to hear that it only takes about 15 mins to read. But this is an amazing book. Such a powerful message and story. I was near tears when I learned the story behind the song "I'll Be Home For Christmas". It's a great book to share with friends and family.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Linda on January 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love David McCullough. Naturally when I saw that he'd written a Christmas book I jumped at the chance to own it. While the stories are nice, I was expecting more meat to them. You can easily read the entire book in 20 minutes - maybe even less. The book is basically the narrative McCullough shares in the DVD that comes with the book. I agree with other readers that the DVD is better than the book. Still, its a nice addition to my collection of McCullough's other books.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By AnnAdele on October 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book and DVD are breath taking, and your eyes may tear a bit when you have finished reading or listening. McCullough is my favorite author, The Mormon Tabernacle choir is far and above 99% of the choirs in the world, and these two songs are high on my list of favorites, especially "I'll be home for Christmas". Therefore, buying this book was a given when I saw it. It is excellent, and I will buy more copies for family members. My regrets are that it is too short. More music by the choir (a couple more verses of "O! Little Town of Bethlehem" would have given it 5 stars. That was a bit disappointing. But buy it, you won't be disappointed in the quality of the story/history, McCullough's narration, or the music that is there.
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