The American Mind and Ours in The Strand Magazine, August 1931. Winston S. Churchill.
The American Mind and Ours in The Strand Magazine, August 1931
The American Mind and Ours in The Strand Magazine, August 1931
The American Mind and Ours in The Strand Magazine, August 1931

The American Mind and Ours in The Strand Magazine, August 1931

London: George Newnes, Ltd., 1931. First edition. Periodical. This is the only published appearance of Winston Churchill’s substantial essay “The American Mind and Ours”. After this appearance in the August 1931 issue of The Strand Magazine (Vol. LXXXII, No. 488), we find no record of any subsequent printings of this essay under this or any other title. There’s may be a good reason why, as the sentiments expressed by Churchill herein may have been detrimental to Churchill’s greater goal of Anglo-American alliance. Written while America was in the depths of the Great Depression, this lengthy and thoughtful essay might have been interpreted as deriding America for its single-minded devotion to business, its lack of care for the impoverished, the foolishness of prohibition, and implications that some of the aforementioned American character played a role in its socio-economic woes. It is difficult not to regard some of Churchill’s sentiment in the essay as denigrating: “The Americans in their millions are a frailer race with a lighter structure than their British compeers… These excesses both of elation and depression would have been avoided in England. Tough, buttoned-up, with much reserve and with many latent resources, the Englishman trudges for-ward, bearing his burden along the stony, uphill road which we are taught will have no ending.” The potential to regard some of Churchill’s analysis of America and Americans in this essay as strongly critical sat at odds with the lifelong tone of Churchill’s expressed regard for and common cause with America. The cultural commonality and vitality of English-speaking peoples animated Churchill throughout his life, from his Victorian youth in an ascendant British Empire to his twilight in the midst of the American century.  Churchill, the child of an American mother and descended from British nobility on his father's side, paid particular heed to the “special relationship” between Britain and the United States. Indeed, Churchill coined the phrase “special relationship”. Among the English-speaking peoples, Churchill considered Britain and the United states in particular "united by other ties besides those of State policy and public need." The reinforcement and constructive application of these common conceptions - upon which so much of 20th Century history hinged - would continue to the very end of Churchill's life and career.  Indeed, Churchill's aspirations and anxieties about this “special relationship” are encapsulated in the titles of his last published history – A History of the English-Speaking Peoples – and his final book of speeches, The Unwritten Alliance. The apparent lack of republication seems quite understandable. Reprint of such an article might have proved both embarrassing and difficult as looming war required promotion of Anglo-American friendship and cooperation. Despite some of the strikingly harsh sentiments, there is a glimmer of the transatlantic alliance Churchill did so much to cultivate and sustain in his conclusion, “it is in the combination across the Atlantic of these diversified minds, and in the union of these complementary virtues and resources, that the brightest promise of the future dwells.” The inherent fragility of the magazine format containing the only appearance of this essay makes this a bibliographically significant rarity. Churchill’s article fills pages 140-50 and is illustrated by images of American industry alongside depression era breadlines. Also featured in this issue is the first British publication of P.G. Wodehouse’s short story “The Go-Getter”. This magazine is in very good condition, particularly considering the inherent fragility of the format. The covers are bright, clean, complete, firmly attached, and free of creases. The spine is complete with only minor wear most pronounced at the head. The contents are complete, clean, and bright with no markings or spotting. Bibliographic reference: Cohen C357, Woods C173. Item #005042

Price: $250.00

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