Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1953. 1st Edition. Hardcover. This is the second volume of the U.S. first "Definitive" edition, only printing of Churchill's war speeches. During his long public life, Winston Churchill played many roles worthy of historical note - member of Parliament for more than half a century, distinguished soldier and war correspondent, author of scores of books, ardent social reformer, combative cold warrior, Nobel Prize winner. But more than anything else, it was Winston Churchill's leadership during the Second World War that made him a preeminent historical figure. Of Churchill, Edward R. Murrow said: "He mobilized the English language and sent it into battle."
Between 1941 and 1946, Churchill's war speeches were published in seven individual volumes in both British and U.S. editions. In 1952, during Churchill's second premiership, the British publisher - Cassell - reissued the War Speeches as a new, "Definitive" three-volume British edition. This U.S. edition was issued in 1953. This three-volume edition of Churchill's War Speeches is considered superior to the original seven wartime volumes. New speeches are added, as is a very helpful index. Some of the original speeches considered peripheral are eliminated while others are retitled and chronological dates are replaced with brief transitional or introductory notes. There were 4,700 copies of the British first edition, first printing, but this incredibly small U.S. edition was limited to a mere 500 copies produced from British edition sheets. (Internally, only the title and copyright pages differ from the British edition.)
The U.S. Edition was bound quite differently from its English counterpart and more elaborately, with a black cloth spine decorated and printed in gilt, over red cloth boards, yellow-stained top edge, and head and foot bands. The light blue and black dust jackets are illustrated with a reproduction from Churchill's hand-corrected typescript of the first Secret Session speech. This copy of Volume II of the U.S. first edition is near-fine in a very good dust jacket. The binding is square, clean, and tight with bright gilt, sharp corners, and virtually no wear. The contents remain crisp and bright and the book feels unread. We find no previous ownership marks and the dark yellow topstain is unfaded. The sole flaw that prevents us grading this volume as fine is a trivial few spots confined to the otherwise clean page edges and the rear pastedown. The dust jacket remains clean and unfaded. The front flap is neatly price-clipped and has a single vertical crease and there are two .25 inch chips at the upper hinges. We note minor wrinkling and wear to the upper front panel and corners and a .5 inch closed tear to the lower rear panel. The dust jacket is protected in a removable, archival quality clear cover.
Reference: Cohen A263.2, Woods A136(b), Langworth p.305. Item #002186