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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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

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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

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.

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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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    Posted November 21, 2010

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    Posted February 1, 2011

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    Posted November 4, 2010

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    Posted October 25, 2010

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