New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1955. Small quarto (6 7/8 inches tall), original illustrated paper boards, decorated endpapers, original illustrated dust jacket. About-Fine. Item #1338
"GOD LOVED US FIRST"
First edition of Fulton Sheen's mid-century meditation on the meaning of the Incarnation—now uncommon in the original dust wrapper with a photographic portrait of the author on the rear panel.
Fulton Sheen's successful run as the host of television's Life is Worth Living (1951-57) marked a distinctly Catholic moment in American popular culture. Published at the height of his prominence, Sheen's essay on the Nativity makes an immediate distinction between the "pagan religions" and the Judeo-Christian tradition: "In all pagan religions man tries to climb to God. In the Judaic-Christian tradition, God comes to man." Illustrated throughout in color by Fritz Kredel, a refugee from Germany where he studied and collaborated with Rudolf Koch. Kredel designed the binding and dust jacket with decorative endpapers and color plates (several double-page). Dedicated by Sheen: "To the Mother of Christmas / The Virgin Mary / That She May Form Christ the Son of God in Us / as the Spirit Formed God in Her." Approbations, including the Imprimatur of (Sheen's sometime rival) Francis Cardinal Spellman. dated Sept. 6, 1955.