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In the Dark Streets Shineth: A 1941…

In the Dark Streets Shineth: A 1941 Christmas Eve Story (2010)

by David McCullough

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223777,978 (3.55)36



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In the Dark Street Shineth: A 1941 Christmas Eve Story - McCullough
3 stars

Without the hardbound binding, it would be more appropriate to call this book a souvenir concert program. It was a Mormon Tabernacle Choir concert with narration by David McCullough. The book has several pages of heart warming war time photographs, a few paragraphs of storytelling about the inspiration for two popular Christmas carols, and the text of Churchill and Roosevelt’s Christmas speeches. There is a DVD included with the book. I did not watch it.

This definitely left me wanting more. My Father died on Pearl Harbor Day in 2007. I know how trying it was for my family to celebrate Christmas after such a loss.(We did talk about the historical significance of the day. Dad was 16 when war was declared. He enlisted the following year.) How difficult it must have been for the nation as a whole. Reading the text of those speeches gave me a taste of the shock, dread, and overwhelming patriotism that must have gripped the country. But this was not actually a book. It barely scratched the surface. ( )
1 vote msjudy | Dec 19, 2016 |
Pretty simple story with large print and big pictures. Almost like a short, small-format coffee table book. Shorter than most short stories you'll read.

Pros: Story about the brotherhood of man (as signified by Christmas) giving hope against darkness and evil (the Axis powers of World War II).

Cons: Not very much depth or personal flavor. It's really a story about Churchill's state visit to America when they joined the war, as told by excerpts from the speeches of Churchill and Roosevelt. ( )
  richjj | Jan 27, 2016 |
In midst of the holiday rush, it's refreshing to set aside a few minutes for quiet reflection about the season. This brief story of Christmas at the White House in 1941 will inspire readers of any age with the spirit of Christmas. Author David McCullough helps younger generations of readers find new meaning in the familiar songs “O Little Town of Bethlehem” and “I'll Be Home for Christmas”. The accompanying DVD is a live recording of the author's recitation of the story to the musical accompaniment of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Historical images from World War II in both the book and the DVD will help readers visualize the setting. The book includes the 1941 Christmas speeches of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill. The half hour it takes to read the book and watch the DVD would be time well spent. ( )
2 vote cbl_tn | Dec 19, 2013 |
There are many men and women in America - sincere and faithful men and women - who are asking themselves this Christmas:
How can we light our trees? How can we give our gifts? How can we meet and worship with love and with uplifted spirit and heart in a world at war, a world of fighting and suffering and death?
How can we pause, even for a day, even for Christmas Day ..."

Franklin D. Roosevelt's Christmas Eve Message 1941

This tiny book has been lurking around in the stacks so long I almost forgot I had it and certainly didn't remember what it was about. The other day I was looking for a Christmas read and pulled it out. It took me about 10 minutes to read. What great timing to pull it out just a few days ago, just in time to commemorate the anniversary of Pearl Harbor.

Shortly after the attack, Winston Churchill, under great secrecy (Churchill's visit was so secret that his name did not appear on the Christmas Eve program) and danger to himself crossed the Atlantic to meet with President Roosevelt. Both men addressed the country on Christmas Eve from the White House. Their speeches are reprinted in this little book. Churchill called for the American people to go ahead and celebrate Christmas:

"... we may cast aside this night at least the cares and dangers which beset us, and make for the children an evening of happiness in a world of storm. Here, then, for one night only, each home throughout the English-speaking world should be a brightly-lighted island of happiness and peace." The next day, Christmas Day, Churchill and Roosevelt attended Christmas church where Churchill heard the carol, "O Little Town of Bethlehem" for the first time.

"Churchill had spoken in his remarks from the White House balcony of every home as a "brightly-lighted island" in the dark. In the first stanza of "O Little Town of Bethlehem" is the line, "Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting Light." I like to think of Churchill and Roosevelt singing that line in particular. And, as would be said of the Prime Minister, he always sang lustily, if not exactly in tune."

Included in the book is a DVD of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing "O Little Town of Bethlehem" & "I'll Be Home for Christmas" narrated by David McCullough who provides a history lesson for each song. The book has a small collection of WWII era photos. A neat little read for any history buffs out there. ( )
9 vote avidmom | Dec 7, 2013 |
This short book documents the visit of Winston Churchill to the United States in Christmas 1941. It contains photographs from that era as well as the speeches that Roosevelt and Churchill made at the Christmas Tree lighting ceremony on Christmas eve. It also contains the stories of two Christmas carols, "O Little Town of Bethlehem" and "I'll Be Home for Christmas." I enjoyed this glimpse into a Christmas past. I was struck by the words of Roosevelt's speech which expressed faith in God, something that many in the 21st century would certainly criticize if included in a speech of today. It's a very quick read, but definitely worthwhile. The book is accompanied by a DVD of McCullough's performance at the annual Christmas Concert of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in Salt Lake City. They sing the two carols. ( )
1 vote thornton37814 | Dec 4, 2013 |
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David McCullough relates a compelling story about the spirit of Christmas and the power of light in difficult, dangerous times. As war raged throughout the world, two leaders--Roosevelt and Churchill--delivered a powerful message that still resonates today.… (more)

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