London: Cassell and Company Ltd., 1950. First edition, only printing. Hardcover. This is a superior, jacketed copy of the British first edition, only printing of the second of Churchill's five postwar speech volumes. Condition may be attributable to the provenance; although unmarked as such, this copy came from the archives of the publisher (Cassell). This copy is both collectible on its own merits and well-suited to incorporating into a fine set of British first editions of Churchill's post war speeches. Condition is near fine in a near fine dust jacket. The green cloth binding is square, clean, bright and tight, marred only by bumps to the lower front corners. The contents are strikingly bright and clean, with no spotting and no previous ownership marks. Even the page edges remain nearly pristine. The dust jacket is entirely complete, unclipped with no loss. The spine is faintly scuffed along the center, but nonetheless notably bright, with no dulling of the yellow spine print. We note a .75 inch closed tear to the top edge of the front panel, very light soiling to the white rear panel, and trivial wear to the corners and spine ends. The dust jacket is now protected beneath a removable, archival quality clear cover.
Europe Unite includes 52 speeches spanning January 1947 to December 1948. The book reflects Churchill's position as then-Leader of the Opposition, and many of the speeches contain both domestic and foreign policy indictments of Clement Attlee's Labour Government, which had replaced Churchill in 1945. Nonetheless, the title is rooted in Churchill's 7 May 1948 speech to the Congress of Europe. Churchill was an early, ardent, and vital advocate of pan-European integration. This and earlier speeches lent impetus to what would eventually become the European Union.
As ardent an advocate as Churchill was of Britain, and though his rhetoric and sentiments could ascend inspiring heights, Churchill had been a soldier, a war leader, a politician and statesman and as such, could not fail to be a realist. Postwar Britain was diminished economically, militarily, and territorially. As Randolph Churchill said in his introduction to the book, Britain's "place in the world can only be regained" in part by "assumption by Britain of a leading role in promoting the unity of Europe." The movement toward European integration would continue to prevail. So would Churchill. During the election of February 1950 - the month this book was published - Churchill polled more than 37,000 votes, double that of his challenger. Labour's majority was reduced to six, and when Prime Minister Clement Attlee called another election in 1951 the Conservatives won 321 seats to Labour’s 295, returning Churchill to Downing Street.
Reference: Cohen A246.1, Woods/ICS A128(a), Langworth p.296. Item #004591