Silent Night: The Story of the World War I Christmas Truce and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $15.00
  • Save: $3.92 (26%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 7 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by Orion LLC
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Book is lightly used with little or no noticeable damage. Unbeatable customer service, and we usually ship the same or next day. Over one million satisfied customers!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Silent Night: The Story of the World War I Christmas Truce Paperback – October 29, 2002


See all 11 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$11.08
$7.23 $0.01


Frequently Bought Together

Silent Night: The Story of the World War I Christmas Truce + Joyeux Noel (Widescreen)
Price for both: $23.87

Buy the selected items together
  • Joyeux Noel (Widescreen) $12.79

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; Reprint edition (October 29, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452283671
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452283671
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #262,654 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

History is peppered with oddments and ironies, and one of the strangest is this. A few days before the first Christmas of that long bloodletting then called the Great War, hundreds of thousands of cold, trench-bound combatants put aside their arms and, in defiance of their orders, tacitly agreed to stop the killing in honor of the holiday.

That informal truce began with small acts: here opposing Scottish and German troops would toss newspapers, ration tins, and friendly remarks across the lines; there ambulance parties, clearing the dead from the barbwire hell of no man's land, would stop to share cigarettes and handshakes. Soon it spread, so that by Christmas Eve the armies of France, England, and Germany were serenading each other with Christmas carols and sentimental ballads and denouncing the conflict with cries of "Á bas la guerre!" and "Nie wieder Krieg!" The truce was, writes Stanley Weintraub, a remarkable episode, and, though "dismissed in official histories as an aberration of no consequence," it was so compelling that many who observed it wrote in near-disbelief to their families and hometown newspapers to report the extraordinary event.

In the end, writes Weintraub, the truce ended with a few stray bullets that escalated into total war, and that would fill the air for just shy of four more Christmases to come; further, isolated attempts at informal peacemaking would fail. But what, Weintraub wonders at the close of this inspired study, would have happened if the soldiers on both sides had refused to take up arms again? His counterfactual scenarios are intriguing, and well worth pondering. -- Gregory McNamee --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Popular historian Weintraub (MacArthur's War, etc.), emeritus professor of arts and humanities at Penn State, tackles a sober subject from WWI, when amid the millions of casualties in the obscene carnage of trench war, a mutual agreement arose for a cease-fire at Christmastime of the first year of conflict. Drawing from secondary sources as well as much archival research in a variety of languages, Weintraub has compiled a brief, anecdotal account that reveals his skill as a researcher and deftness as a narrator in chapters like "An Outbreak of Peace," "Our Friends, the Enemy" and "How It Ended." There are lively anecdotes, contemporary doggerel and some extraneous asides such as that "a Chinese fourth century B.C. military text mentions a primitive form of football." While succinctly conveying the mood and stakes of this unprecedented display of mutual trust during war, Weintraub's short book could help draw Malcolm Brown and Shirley Seaton's magisterial Christmas Truce back into print. In the meantime, and just in time for the holidays, we have this offering from one of our most patient chroniclers.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

The story is amazing and simple at the same time.
Philip J. Bohlken
I guess that was the author's intent with the addition of the epilogue, which is the most self-indulging bit of pointless speculation that I have ever read.
Robert Vogel
This will be my third reading and third book purchase.
Lawrence Singer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 22, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I was curious to know why Weintraub wrote a book about a brief period prior to Christmas in 1914, on the battlefields of Flanders, when German and British soldiers spontaneously agreed to declare a truce and suspend fighting, thereby defying their commanding officers. The answer to that question, in my opinion, has profound significance 87 years later. No doubt the book's impact on me is explained, at least in part, by the fact that I read it during the holiday season, following the events of September 11th, as a war on terrorism continues. But also because, as an eager student of military history, I am intrigued by isolated situations in which humanity (for lack of a better term) at least temporarily prevails over death and destruction. Centuries ago, knights and their attendants would work with their enemies to clear a field for combat the next day. Such cooperation had an obvious practical value. That's not what interests Weintraub as he examines a temporary truce during one of the bloodiest wars ever fought. It had little (if any) practical or tactical value but it did (and does) suggest a human need which transcends military obligations.
Weintraub draws upon a wealth of primary sources (e.g. letters and diaries) in which firsthand accounts comment on the shared misery created by "shells, bombs, underground caves, corpses, liquor, mice, cats, artillery, filth, bullets, mortars, fire, and steel." I am reminded of movies such as All's Quiet on the Western Front and Paths of Glory in which the human misery portrayed is almost unbearable to watch. I had the same reaction when seeing more recent movies such as Saving Private Ryan and Black Hawk Down.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas M. Lamarca on July 11, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Let me open by saying that the book is not all that well written. However the story is amazing. I am shocked that I have never really heard about this prior to reading this book. Everyone should read this book especially those who think peace will never happen. Very good lesson.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 13, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is one of the most poorly written books I have read in years. You either have to know German or the entire geography of Europe to understand what Weintraub is taking about. No German or French words (sometimes whole paragraphs) are explained in english. This book is long-winded, redundant and out of order, it may be 50 pages before Weitraub gets back to something he was in the middle of writing about. Steer clear and read the synopsis on the back cover of this one. Well-researched for the families of those who fought in that batlle, but not for me.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Philip J. Bohlken on May 30, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Three or four years ago there were a number of features on NPR and elsewhere about The Christmas Truce of 1914. The story is amazing and simple at the same time. I wondered what more could be added in a full book. The author fleshes out the story with lots of detail added from many sources.

While the story is amazing, I found the book to be a broader study of fraternization between opposing soldiers. That has been going on through the centuries. In the Battle of Chattanooga during the US Civil War opposing soldiers sometimes crossed the Tennessee River for card games and dances together. This book explains how and why enemies can share time together in friendly pursuits.

I had always wondered about the language barrier in The Christmas Truce, but many of the German soldiers had worked in London as waiters and had learned English. One English soldier met his old barber among the German soldiers in the other trenches, and even got a haircut from him on the battlefield!

The book is very interesting to read and worth the time, although, I found the "What if..." chapter not that useful.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 3, 2002
Format: Hardcover
The author has clearly done his research homework, compiling an impressive array of contemporary accounts of a remarkable, even inspirational, event. Especially impressive was Weintraub's ability to mix German accounts in with the more customary allied ones (after all, by W's account, it was the Germans who began the truce).
Still, despite the book's strengths in its core of solid primary research, I have to agree with several previous reviewers that it is poorly presented, poorly arranged, and at times methodologically challenged. IMHO, the book screams for some sort of analytical framework around which to hang the impressive data that W has collected. Instead, the reader is presented with a series of partly-chronological, partly topical chapters that contain no internal consistency. For instance, the chapter on the infamous football/soccer game(s) does not limit itself to that subject, nor does it adduce any compelling thesis or argument about the nexus of sport, warfare, the truce - or anything else, for that matter. It is a jumble of anecdotes, many of which touch on the soccer game(s?), but many of which do not. The rest of the book contains similar organizational problems: a surfeit of wonderful anecdotes without any controlling narrative or argument.
Yet I would not complain as much about the book were it not for what I found to be some serious methodological flaws. Weintraub introduces into each chapter anecdotes drawn from pop culture sources (plays, literature, songs, children's books, etc) composed, by and large, many years after the fact. This is not necessarily a bad thing, and, indeed, in the hands of another scholar might well have provided the basis for an entirely distinct monograph.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?