Silent Night: the Story of World War I's Christmas Truce Hardcover – 26 Nov 2001
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Robert Cowleyfounding editor of "MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History," and editor of "No End Save Victory: Perspectives on World War II"Stanley Weintraub's poignant account of the day one of the worst of wars took a holiday sounds like the stuff of fiction, but it was the sort of event that fiction can only imitate. No wonder that his book reads like a novel, a true story that has the power to haunt.
About the Author
Stanley Weintraub is Evan Pugh Professor Emeritus of Arts and Humanities at Pennsylvania State University, and the author of numerous histories and biographies, including Silent Night (available from Plume). --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The author of this book has brought together a wonderful book. It is a collection of anecdotes about that Christmas Truce, complete with a series of pictures. Being a minor student of that tragic war, I could not help but be touched by this story, being at times brought close to tears by some of the stories.
I must admit that I found the author's speculation on what might have happened if the opposing armies had decided to make the peace permanent to be quite fanciful, and rather anticlimactic. That said, though, this is a wonderful book, one that is quite informative on a little studied chapter of World War I. I highly recommend this book to all readers!
What really makes Weintraub's book such a great read at Christmastime is that by largely allowing the story to tell itself the book highlights the fundamental goodness and common decency of most of those involved. Born and bred in what was in many ways a more civilised, courteous and gentler age, these men really didn't want to fight each other at all and once they began fraternizing, they soon realised that they had many more things in common than they had differences. United by a shared history, culture, religion and moral values, the nominal enemies found it very easy to become friends as they exchanged gifts and rations, smoked, sang and danced together, played football and generally mucked about. As Weintraub explains, even language wasn't really a barrier as so many of the Germans spoke excellent English having lived and worked in Britain before the war.Read more ›
Weintraub fills the book with heart-warming information relating to the event of the Christmas 1914 Truce on the Front across France. I found the book to be both insightful and interesting, although felt that the Chapters, and therefore the story did not really progress throughout the book.
Although easy to understand, after re-reading, it is more noticeable that the book tends to be rather fragmented, and slightly repetitive, which caused myself to become relatively bored at some parts of the book.
However, I would recommend Weintraub's work, especially Silent Night, to anyone looking for an informative, yet easy read (I first read this book when I was 14 and coped with the terms that he uses).
One certainty, is that Weintraub captures the spirit in his writing. Definitely one to read at Christmas, over and over again!
I am not sure this subject warrants a whole book and there is quite a bit of repetition as Stanley Weintraub gives numerous different examples of the different ways the truce occurred in different parts of the Western Front.
The book concludes with a short chapter titled "What if....?" in which Stanley Weintraub speculates what might have happened had the war ended with the 1914 Christmas truce which felt a bit pointless.
Interesting, if inessential.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm very sorry if people think that this book is 'well researched'. It is nothing of the kind. It takes both factual and fictional sources and fails to distinguish between them -... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Peter Grant
The delivery was speedy and the condition good. I read previous comments about the book and decided to buy it on those recommendations. I wasn't disappointed.Published on 6 Mar. 2014 by Matilda
Amazing book, from a time that is unbelievable, cant imagine thje crazyness of it all, but just shows what the average human really thinks when not made to do mad things by rulers... Read morePublished on 5 May 2013 by N. H. Taylor
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