New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1929. First Edition, First Printing. Hardcover. This is a jacketed copy of the first edition, first printing of the fifth and penultimate book of The World Crisis, Churchill's acclaimed history of the First World War. A quarter of a century before the Second World War endowed him with lasting fame, Winston Churchill played a uniquely critical, controversial, and varied role in the “War to end all wars”. This volume deals with the postwar years 1918 to 1928. The U.S. edition of The World Crisis is the true first, as U.S. publication preceded British publication. Today, jacketed first editions are quite scarce - jacketed U.S. editions even more so than their British counterparts.
This copy is beautifully fine in a good plus dust jacket. The russet cloth binding remains square, tight, and immaculately bright and clean, as only jacketed copies can be. The contents remain perfectly clean with no spotting, no inscriptions. Even the untrimmed fore edges remain clean. We note a tiny Philadelphia book store sticker affixed to the lower front pastedown. The dust jacket is unclipped, retaining the original "$5.00" front flap price. We note shallow chipping at the corners and edges. There are losses at the spine ends to a maximum depth of .25 inch at the spine head and .75 inch at the lower spine corners, but no loss of spine lettering, with both the title and publisher print unaffected. The dust jacket is protected with a removable, archival quality clear cover.
Published between 1923 and 1931,the six volumes of The World Crisis span the 1911-1918 war years, with two supplemental volumes covering the postwar years 1918-1928 (The Aftermath) and the Eastern theatre (The Eastern Front). Of The World Crisis, Frederick Woods wrote: "The volumes contain some of Churchill's finest writing, weaving the many threads together with majestic ease, describing the massive battles in terms which fitly combine relish of the literary challenge with an awareness of the sombre tragedy of the events." Churchill was in a special position to write this history, having served both in the Cabinet and on the Front. Churchill served as First Lord of the Admiralty from 1911 until 1915, but after the failure in the Dardanelles, he was scapegoated and forced to resign. He spent his political exile as a lieutenant colonel leading a battalion in the trenches.
Before the war's end, Churchill was exonerated and rejoined the Government, foreshadowing the political isolation and restoration he would experience nearly two decades later leading up to the Second World War. Despite Churchill's political recovery, the stigma of the Dardanelles would linger. Churchill may have meant for his history of the First World War to clear his name, but his six-volume masterwork far exceeds this purpose.
Reference: Cohen A69.1(IV).a, Woods/ICS A31(aa), Langworth p.103. Item #003197