In the Dark Streets Shineth: A 1941 Christmas Eve Story

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Days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt met at the White House. It was Christmas Eve, 1941. As war raged throughout the world, the two leaders delivered a powerful message that still resonates today. Bestselling author and historian David McCullough relates a compelling story about the spirit of Christmas and the power of light in difficult, dangerous times.

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2010 First edition. First Printing, based on Printers key. New in new dust jacket. Audience: General/trade. 42 p. with book DVD enclosed also. Days after the Japanese attack on ... Pearl Harbor, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt met at the White House. It was Christmas Eve, 1941. As war raged throughout the world, the two leaders delivered a powerful message of hope that still reverberates today. Narrated by Presidential historian David McCullough. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt met at the White House. It was Christmas Eve, 1941. As war raged throughout the world, the two leaders delivered a powerful message that still resonates today. Bestselling author and historian David McCullough relates a compelling story about the spirit of Christmas and the power of light in difficult, dangerous times.

  • Beautifully designed with historic photographs that transport readers to the early days of World War II
  • Includes a DVD of David McCullough's presentation of this story at the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's 2009 Christmas concert, to be featured nationally on PBS
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

National Book Award winner and Pulitzer Prize winner [XXX]David McCullough is a talented historian, but as readers of his Truman and 1776 know, he's also a captivating storyteller. Both those talents snap into sharp focus in this Christmas Eve story about two world leaders contemplating a shared future. On December 24th, 1941, just seventeen days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt met at the White House. What unfolded there was not just a session on battle strategies; it was a conference between two leaders about what the world could become after the present conflagration. Illustrated with photographs, In the Dark Streets Shineth is accompanied with a DVD of McCullough's presentation of the story at the 2009 Mormon Tabernacle Choir holiday celebration.

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
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781606418314
  • Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/12/2010
  • Pages: 33
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

David McCullough is a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his histories of Truman and John Adams. He was twice awarded the National Book Award, for The Path Between the Seas and Mornings on Horseback, and is the author of the highly acclaimed books 1776, Brave Companions, The Great Bridge, and The Johnstown Flood. He is the recipient of the National Book Foundation Distinguished Contribution to American Letters Award, the National Humanities Medal, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Biography

Critics have called David McCullough America's premier narrative historian, and rightly so: McCullough is both a scholar and a storyteller, a meticulous researcher and a highly engaging writer. Given his ability to turn a 750-page biography of an often-overlooked, one-term president into a national bestseller, it might even be said that McCullough is a magician. Gordon Wood, author of The Radicalism of the American Revolution and a professor of history at Brown University, has said McCullough "is without doubt the most celebrated of what you could call our 'popular historians,' and he's also respected by academic historians."

McCullough, who majored in English literature at Yale, began his career as a magazine writer, but turned to history after reading some uninspired accounts of the disastrous 1899 flood of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. He wrote his own history of the flood and its aftermath, and went on to chronicle two great feats of engineering: the building of the Brooklyn Bridge and the creation of the Panama Canal.

Both The Great Bridge and The Path Between the Seas were bestsellers, and the latter won a National Book Award. Critics praised McCullough for his vivid descriptions and lively excerpts of firsthand accounts. The Great Bridge, wrote Robert Kirsch in The Los Angeles Times, is "a book so compelling and complete as to be a literary monument, one of the best books I have read in years." McCullough then progressed from the Panama Canal to its great proponent Theodore Roosevelt, the subject of his first biography. Mornings on Horseback, about the young Teddy Roosevelt, was hailed as a "masterpiece" by Newsday 's John A. Gable and praised as "a beautifully told story, filled with fresh detail" by The New York Times Book Review.

McCullough spent the next ten years researching and writing about Harry Truman, and the resulting book was a complex, compelling and affectionate portrait of America's 33d president. Truman won the Pulitzer Prize for biography and sold well over 1 million copies. Another Pulitzer Prize was awarded to McCullough's next book, John Adams, also a bestseller.

"McCullough's appreciation for Adams, like his appreciation for Truman, depends on an adherence to certain old-fashioned moral guidelines, which is to say on strength of character," wrote New York Times reviewer Pauline Maier. McCullough is eloquent about his subjects' honesty, unpretentiousness and deep sense of civic duty, though critics have sometimes charged that he is too quick to excuse or pass over their failings. But McCullough has his own reservations about "a certain school of historians who don't just want to prove somebody from the past had feet of clay, they want to show he's nothing but clay."

McCullough can admire his subjects in spite of their faults; as he once said, "The more we see the founders as humans the more we can understand them." Through his books, millions of readers have found American heroes whose human characters are as well worth studying as their historic accomplishments.

Good To Know

In researching John Adams, McCullough went to every place in Europe that Adams had lived, in England, France and Holland. He also traveled with his wife along the same route Adams and Jefferson took when they toured the gardens of England. "If I had been able to sail across the Atlantic in a 24-gun frigate, as John Adams did, I would have done that, too," he said.

In addition to his work as a writer, McCullough has hosted the public television shows Smithsonian World and The American Experience, and narrated Ken Burns's documentary The Civil War.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 9 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 25, 2010

    Excellent Christmas history book

    I love history, and I love Christmas. Plus, I'm a huge fan of David McCullough. I had never heard of this moment in history, when Winston Churchill risked his life to cross the sea and meet at the White House with the President. The background of the Christmas carols is fascinating as well. The DVD is a nice touch, as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings the songs Mr. McCullough teaches us about in the book. I highly recommend this book as a gift to anyone on your list.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 6, 2011

    Good purchase

    I've enjoyed this book and dvd very much.

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  • Posted October 25, 2010

    Great Christmas Story

    Really liked the story. It's a short book. Not like McCullough's other work, but a great Christmas story that has been fun to read and share.

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  • Posted October 17, 2010

    Warm and Inspiring

    I love books by David McCullough and this time is no different. I enjoyed being taken back in time to a special moment when Churchill arrived secretly to America and met with Roosevelt right before Christmas during the War. This book tells the short story and shares their personal speeches. Then it also gives the history of the song "Oh Little Town of Bethlehem". That story is inspiring. It also includes the program on dvd along with the book when David McCullough shared this story with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir performing the songs. A quick read, but a great story to share every christmas. It makes you feel warm all over and truly feel the spirit of Christmas.

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    Posted May 24, 2011

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