The Second World War, full set of six U.S. first editions. Winston S. Churchill.
The Second World War, full set of six U.S. first editions
The Second World War, full set of six U.S. first editions
The Second World War, full set of six U.S. first editions
The Second World War, full set of six U.S. first editions
The Second World War, full set of six U.S. first editions
The Second World War, full set of six U.S. first editions

The Second World War, full set of six U.S. first editions

Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1948. First edition, first printing. Hardcover. This is a full, six-volume, jacketed set of first editions. The Second World War is Churchill's history of the epic 20th Century struggle that was so indelibly stamped by his leadership. Seldom, if ever, has history endowed a statesman with both singular ability to make history, and singular ability to write it. As with so much of what Churchill wrote, The Second World War is not "history" in the strictly academic, objectivist sense, but rather Churchill's perspective on history. In his March 1948 introduction to the first volume, Churchill himself made the disclaimer, "I do not describe it as history... it is a contribution to history..." Nonetheless the compelling fact remains, as stated by Churchill himself, "I am perhaps the only man who has passed through both the two supreme cataclysms of recorded history in high Cabinet office... I was for more than five years in this second struggle with Germany the Head of His Majesty's government. I write, therefore, from a different standpoint and with more authority than was possible in my earlier books." Certainly The Second World War may be regarded as an intensely personal and inherently biased history. Nonetheless, Churchill's work remains seminal, iconic, and a vital part of the historical record. The six-volume epic has been called "indispensable reading for anyone who seeks a true understanding of the war that made us what we are today." This U.S. first edition is not only more scarce today than its British counterpart, but is also the true first edition. The first U.S. volume, The Gathering Storm, was published in June 1948, while the British first edition was not published until October 1948. The sixth and final U.S. first edition volume, Triumph and Tragedy, was published during Churchill's second and final Premiership in November 1953. A Book-of-the-Month Club (BOMC) edition was published virtually simultaneously with the U.S. first edition and is quite similar in appearance (often causing confusion for disappointed collectors who think they are buying first editions). Note these are not the common BOMC look-alikes, but correct first trade editions in all respects: the dust jackets are unclipped and bear the correct, first printing $6.00 price. All top edges are stained dark yellow-orange. Title and copyright pages bear correct first printing indications. All volumes bear the distinctive red and yellow head and foot bands. There are no BOMC indentations on the rear covers. This first edition set shows some age and wear, but nonetheless features very good plus or better volumes in good plus or better dust jackets. Shelf presentation is imperfect but notably bright, with none of the typical fading of the vivid red, yellow, and orange hues. We note edgewear and chipping to all of the jackets, with a scuff at the title of the Volume III spine head. The dust jackets are protected beneath removable, archival quality clear covers. The first printing volumes all feature tight bindings that are clean and unfaded with bright shelf presentation. A trace of spotting appears confined to a few page edges and the Volume III endpapers. The sole previous ownership mark we find in the set is a previous owner name, with Baltimore address and dated “Aug. ‘50”, inked to the Volume I upper front free endpaper. Laid in at page 69 in Volume III we discovered an interesting wartime souvenir – the front cover of a wartime matchbook cover printed in six lines: “Buy | WAR SAVINGS | BONDS | and | STAMPS | close cover before striking”. This had clearly been laid in for the life of the volume, with transfer browning to the upper left of the page where the matchbook cover has lain all these years. Please note that this large set may require additional postage. Bibliographic reference: Cohen A240.1(I-VI).a, Woods/ICS A123(aa), Langworth p.258. Item #004138

Price: $550.00

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