New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1938. 1st Edition. Hardcover. This is the precursor to Churchill's great war speeches. This is the first U.S. edition, first printing in dust jacket. The British first edition was given the politically palatable title "Arms and the Covenant". The U.S. title is a bit more honest. The book contains a collection of speeches spanning the years 1928 to 1938 criticizing British foreign policy and warning prophetically of the coming danger. The world remembers the resolute war leader to whom the British entrusted their fate, but it is easy to forget the years leading up to the war which Churchill spent persistent, eloquent, and largely unheeded. Churchill bibliographer Frederick Woods called this edition "probably the most crucial volume of speeches that he ever published". As testimony to the book's importance, a copy of While England Slept lay on "President Roosevelt's bedside table, with key passages, including an analysis of the president's peace initiative, underscored." (William Manchester's The Last Lion, Volume II, p.305)
Offered here is a very good first edition, first printing in a first printing dust jacket. The blue cloth binding is square, clean, and tight with sharp corners, bright silver lettering and red banners, and virtually no wear. The sole exterior flaw is an apparent binding error - a slight, curving crease to the cloth to the upper third of the spine and a slight blemish in the red title banner just below the second line of the title. This is a regrettable but honest flaw that is clearly not the product of wear. The contents are clean and tight. We find no spotting. A single previous owner's name is inked to the ffep. The red-stained top edge remains notably dark and unfaded, marred only by a small stain at the fore edge. The untrimmed fore edge and bottom edges are age-toned, but otherwise quite clean.
The correct first printing dust jacket is bright and clean, featuring vivid, entirely unfaded red color on the jacket spine. The jacket is also unclipped, still bearing the original $4.00 price on the front flap. There is modest overall soiling and wear to the jacket extremities, with shallow chipping to the edges, mild wear to the hinges and flap folds, and a few short, closed tears. The dust jacket is protected in a removable, archival quality clear cover.
Reference: Cohen A107.2.a, Woods/ICS A44(b.1). Langworth p.193. Item #002319