India
India
India

India

London: Thornton Butterworth Ltd., 1931. First edition, first printing. Hardcover. This is the first edition, first printing, in the quite scarce hardcover binding. India is a collection of 10 speeches by Churchill as part of his campaign against the India Bill, over which he broke with his party’s leadership. The first edition is most commonly found in orange paper wraps. A much rarer variant was issued in a hardcover binding. This elusive hardcover was issued with two binding variants - one with the spine title reading horizontally and one with the spine title reading vertically as it does on the wraps issues. This is a very good copy, noteworthy for retaining vividly bright color on both the covers and spine. The binding is square, clean, and tight. Trivial wear to extremities and moderate overall soiling does not appreciably diminish the vivid orange hues of the binding cloth. The contents are unusually clean, with none of the spotting endemic to the edition. What leads us to grade this copy as only “very good” are replaced endpapers (a skillful and unobtrusive job), the illegible ghost of some previous notation on the upper title page verso and at the head of the contents page, and some dust soiling to the top edge of the text block. India is, in many ways, an archetypal work of Churchill’s “wilderness years” in the 1930s, which saw him out of power and out of favor, unable to leverage the policies to which he nonetheless applied himself with characteristic vigor and skill. Though his cause was lost, these speeches are considered to contain some of the finest examples of Churchill's rhetorical brilliance. Churchill spent formative time as a young 19th century cavalry officer fighting on the northwest Indian frontier, about which he would write his first published book. He did not adopt an early progressive attitude toward relinquishing control over the crown jewel of Britain's colonial empire. Nonetheless, it is instructive to remember that many of Churchill's dire warnings about Indian independence proved prophetic. Churchill had warned that too swift a British withdrawal from India would lead to bloody civil war and sectarian strife between Hindus and Muslims, Hindu domination, and destabilizing political balkanization of the subcontinent. All these predictions came to pass and, to a considerable extent, persist today. Bibliographic reference: Cohen A92.1.b, Woods/ICS A38(a), Langworth p.150. Item #005107

Price: $3,000.00

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