The War Speeches, a full set of all seven U.S. first editions, including Blood Sweat and Tears, The Unrelenting Struggle, The End of the Beginning, Onwards to Victory, The Dawn of Liberation, Victory, and Secret Session Speeches, inscribed by Winston S. Churchill in the scarcest of the seven volumes, The Dawn of Liberation. Winston S. Churchill.
The War Speeches, a full set of all seven U.S. first editions, including Blood Sweat and Tears, The Unrelenting Struggle, The End of the Beginning, Onwards to Victory, The Dawn of Liberation, Victory, and Secret Session Speeches, inscribed by Winston S. Churchill in the scarcest of the seven volumes, The Dawn of Liberation
The War Speeches, a full set of all seven U.S. first editions, including Blood Sweat and Tears, The Unrelenting Struggle, The End of the Beginning, Onwards to Victory, The Dawn of Liberation, Victory, and Secret Session Speeches, inscribed by Winston S. Churchill in the scarcest of the seven volumes, The Dawn of Liberation
The War Speeches, a full set of all seven U.S. first editions, including Blood Sweat and Tears, The Unrelenting Struggle, The End of the Beginning, Onwards to Victory, The Dawn of Liberation, Victory, and Secret Session Speeches, inscribed by Winston S. Churchill in the scarcest of the seven volumes, The Dawn of Liberation
The War Speeches, a full set of all seven U.S. first editions, including Blood Sweat and Tears, The Unrelenting Struggle, The End of the Beginning, Onwards to Victory, The Dawn of Liberation, Victory, and Secret Session Speeches, inscribed by Winston S. Churchill in the scarcest of the seven volumes, The Dawn of Liberation
The War Speeches, a full set of all seven U.S. first editions, including Blood Sweat and Tears, The Unrelenting Struggle, The End of the Beginning, Onwards to Victory, The Dawn of Liberation, Victory, and Secret Session Speeches, inscribed by Winston S. Churchill in the scarcest of the seven volumes, The Dawn of Liberation
The War Speeches, a full set of all seven U.S. first editions, including Blood Sweat and Tears, The Unrelenting Struggle, The End of the Beginning, Onwards to Victory, The Dawn of Liberation, Victory, and Secret Session Speeches, inscribed by Winston S. Churchill in the scarcest of the seven volumes, The Dawn of Liberation
The War Speeches, a full set of all seven U.S. first editions, including Blood Sweat and Tears, The Unrelenting Struggle, The End of the Beginning, Onwards to Victory, The Dawn of Liberation, Victory, and Secret Session Speeches, inscribed by Winston S. Churchill in the scarcest of the seven volumes, The Dawn of Liberation
The War Speeches, a full set of all seven U.S. first editions, including Blood Sweat and Tears, The Unrelenting Struggle, The End of the Beginning, Onwards to Victory, The Dawn of Liberation, Victory, and Secret Session Speeches, inscribed by Winston S. Churchill in the scarcest of the seven volumes, The Dawn of Liberation
The War Speeches, a full set of all seven U.S. first editions, including Blood Sweat and Tears, The Unrelenting Struggle, The End of the Beginning, Onwards to Victory, The Dawn of Liberation, Victory, and Secret Session Speeches, inscribed by Winston S. Churchill in the scarcest of the seven volumes, The Dawn of Liberation

The War Speeches, a full set of all seven U.S. first editions, including Blood Sweat and Tears, The Unrelenting Struggle, The End of the Beginning, Onwards to Victory, The Dawn of Liberation, Victory, and Secret Session Speeches, inscribed by Winston S. Churchill in the scarcest of the seven volumes, The Dawn of Liberation

New York and Boston: G. P. Putnam's Sons; Little, Brown, and Company; Simon & Schuster, 1941-1946. First edition, first printing. Hardcover. This full set of all seven U.S. first editions – including Blood Sweat and Tears, The Unrelenting Struggle, The End of the Beginning, Onwards to Victory, The Dawn of Liberation, Victory, and Secret Session Speeches – is inscribed by Winston S. Churchill in the scarcest of the seven volumes. Condition alone would render this set noteworthy. Inscribed thus in The Dawn of Liberation it is a rare prize.

The inscription

In black ink at the head of the front free endpaper recto of the fifth volume, Churchill wrote: “Inscribed by | Winston S. Churchill”. This is the only inscribed copy of the U.S. first edition, first printing of The Dawn of Liberation that we have encountered.

Condition

All seven volumes are jacketed first printings of the U.S. first edition. Each of the seven volumes is in near fine or better condition in a very good plus or better dust jacket.

The inscribed volume, The Dawn of Liberation, is the U.S. first edition, first printing of the fifth volume of Churchill's war speeches, publishing Churchill's speeches made during 1944 - a year when the war turned decidedly in favor of the British and their Allies. Condition of the volume is near fine. The red cloth binding is clean, square, and tight. Minimal shelf wear is evident only in some wrinkling at the spine ends and a bit of wear to the bottom edges. The contents are clean, with no spotting or previous ownership marks apart from the author’s inscription. Modest age-toning affects the endpapers and page edges. The untrimmed fore and bottom edges are otherwise clean, the top edge showing only a little shelf dust. The dust jacket is bright, respectably clean, and unclipped, the original “$3.50” price intact on the front flap, the red spine panel only very slightly sunned. The chief defects are wear, scuffs, and short closed tears to the extremities, a small tape reinforcement to the upper rear flap fold, and a small, closed, V-shaped tear to the lower spine with some attendant wrinkling.

Condition of the other six first editions comprising this set is no less than near fine plus, all six in very good plus or better dust jackets. All six bindings are bright, clean, and square with virtually no wear. All contents are crisp, clean, bright, and tight. We find no appreciable spotting and no appreciable age-toning, even of the text block edges. The only two volumes with topstain – Blood, Sweat and Tears and Secret Session Speeches – both retain uniformly strong red topstain. We can report only mild shelf dust to a few of the top edges. Most volumes feel unread.

There are three previous ownership inscriptions in the set, all contemporary to publication. The upper front free endpaper verso of Blood Sweat and Tears is dated “June 5 – 1942” and charmingly inscribed “To our Dear Son, Frankie, upon his graduation from Morton Highschool, and with Love from your devoted dad and mom.” There is an inked gift inscription on the front free endpaper of The Unrelenting Struggle “To Dad from Bob” dated "Christmas 1942" with a further name inked above in a different hand. There is a previous owner inscription and an intriguing note dated “26 August 1943” on the front free endpaper recto of The End of the Beginning. The note reads "Concord, Massachusetts. Leave tomorrow to speak in Danville, Virginia...", concluding with a cryptic reference to “Employers group” and “54 stations”. The only other marks found in the set are a tiny, Palo Alto bookseller’s sticker affixed to the lower rear pastedown of Victory and an unexplained, ink-stamped “200 10” on the final free endpaper recto of Secret Session Speeches.

All of the dust jackets are impressively bright in appearance and highly complete. The Blood Sweat and Tears dust jacket is a true first trade edition (not the look-alike Book-of-the-Month Club edition), with the $3.00 price still intact on the front flap. This dust jacket is unusually bright and complete, with minor wear confined to the spine ends and the front hinge and only slight soiling to the spine, which retains unfaded blue and red color. The dust jackets for volumes 2-6 proved incredibly susceptible to scuffing and wear, as well as fading of the red spine panels. Here, all of the Little, Brown and Company dust jackets retain bright spine color. Four out of five dust jackets retain the original prices on the front flaps. Only The Unrelenting Struggle is neatly price-clipped, but this dust jacket compensates with particularly good spine presentation. Wear for these five jackets is mostly trivial and confined to extremities with the following exceptions: The Unrelenting Struggle jacket shows minor evidence of moisture staining at the top front corners of both the front and rear face (with no apparent effect on the book itself); Victory shows a roughly .5 inch (1.3 cm) oblong scar on the red background portion of the front face. All seven dust jackets are protected beneath clear, removable, archival covers.

The set is housed in a rigid cloth slipcase with black cloth top, back, and bottom and red cloth sides. The interior of the slipcase is stepped to accommodate the varying heights of the final four volumes and the right side features a red Morocco goatskin label with a decorative gilt border and printed in four lines “THE WAR SPEECHES | THE RT. HON. | WINSTON S. CHURCHILL | FIRST AMERICAN EDITION”. Condition of the slipcase is pristine.

Churchill’s war speeches

During his long public life, Winston Churchill played many roles worthy of note - Member of Parliament for more than half a century, soldier and war correspondent, author of scores of books, ardent social reformer, combative cold warrior, Nobel Prize winner, painter. But Churchill's preeminence as a historical figure owes most to his indispensable leadership during the Second World War, when his soaring and defiant oratory sustained his countrymen and inspired the free world. Of Churchill, Edward R. Murrow said: "He mobilized the English language and sent it into battle." When Churchill was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953, it was partly “…for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values.”

Between 1941 and 1946, Churchill's war speeches were published in seven individual volumes in both British and U.S. editions. Of note, the first volume, Blood Sweat and Tears (published in England as Into Battle), is one of the few Churchill first editions for which the U.S. edition bears a different title than the British. The U.S. first editions were generally published in smaller numbers and are considerably scarcer today than their British counterparts, particularly in collector-worthy condition in first printing dust jackets.

The U.S. editions varied significantly across the seven volumes, unlike the British first editions, which were all issued by the same publisher, were universal in height and binding, and featured uniformly styled dust jackets which varied only in hue (apart from the seventh and final volume). The first U.S. volume was published by G.P. Putnam's Sons and bound in the same size and blue cloth as their other 1930s editions of Churchill's works (Great Contemporaries, While England Slept, and Step By Step). Volumes 2-6 were published by Little, Brown and Company. Each of these five volumes was bound in red cloth with a black and red dust jacket, but the volumes vary considerably in height. The reason for this variation appears on the dust jacket flap of the smallest of the volumes published by Little, Brown and Company, The Dawn of Liberation: “The format of this book is designed to save paper, which is now rationed, as well as other materials. In 1941 this volume would have been larger, or thicker, or heavier, and perhaps all three of these, and might have been set in a large type face with wider margins to the page…” The final volume, Secret Session Speeches, was published by Simon and Schuster in an entirely different size, binding, and dust jacket style and is the true first edition, as in this case only U.S. publication preceded that of its British counterpart.

The edition and moment

Apart from being inscribed by the author, the U.S. first edition, first printing of the fifth volume, The Dawn of Liberation, is particularly elusive; only 3,500 copies were issued - by a quite significant margin the smallest print run of any first edition, first printing of the seven U.S. (or, for that matter, British) war speeches volumes. Quite likely, the small print run owes to the publisher anticipating reduced demand owing to the fact that this was the first volume published while Churchill was no longer wartime prime minister. This first printing of the U.S. first edition was published on 2 August 1945, just a week after Churchill relinquished his wartime premiership following a Labour Party General Election landslide.

Although the inscription in this volume is undated we can make some notional inferences. Churchill did not again cross the Atlantic until he and his wife sailed on board the Queen Elizabeth for the United States on 9 January 1946. By no means had his orations ceased with his premiership. Indeed, his first speech of the trip was given while still on board to several hundred Canadian troops, also on board and returning home. While Churchill spent much of his American visit in recreation or composition (both writing and painting), there was certainly no shortage of public and press interaction. Churchill spoke on 26 February 1946 at the University of Miami to a crowd of 17,500. But most notably, while in the United States Churchill delivered his famous "Iron Curtain" speech on 5 March in Fulton, Missouri. "The reverberations of the Fulton Speech were to be heard for the rest of Churchill's stay in the United States..." and rendered Churchill a prominently controversial presence in transatlantic media. A number of smaller events and addresses filled the rest of Churchill's trip, including his address to an informal meeting of senior American military officers (at the suggestion of Eisenhower), dinners hosted by Bernard Baruch and Henry Luce, and a reception at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Churchill's visit to the United States did not end until 20 March 1946. 

It seems quite plausible that it was during this extended early 1946 sojourn in the United States (minus a few weeks of February 1946 spent in Cuba) that this copy was inscribed. Nothing in the style, still-steady hand, or manifest age of the inscription gainsays this assumption. Further supporting this assumption, The Dawn of Liberation was the most recently published volume of Churchill war speeches in America in early 1946, coincident with his visit; the next volume of Churchill's war speeches, Victory, was not published until 7 August 1946.

Despite the electoral defeat of his party and his newly minted status as Leader of the Opposition, Churchill's stature was immense and enduring - so much so that a sitting American president personally invited him (in October 1945) to come to America to speak "in my home state". When Churchill gave that speech in Fulton Missouri in March 1946 - as a defeated prime minister and Leader of the Opposition on holiday – President Truman traveled by train with Churchill to the event and personally introduced him. The publisher's apparent pessimism aside, when The Dawn of Liberation was published, there seems little question that appetite for, and attention to, Churchill's eloquence remained unabated. Testimony to this enduring regard comes from none other than Churchill's successor as Prime Minister, Labor Party leader Clement Attlee. Just two weeks after publication of this volume Attlee, addressing the House of Commons on 16 August, said of Churchill "In the darkest and most dangerous hour of our history, this nation found... the man who expressed supremely the courage and determination never to yield which animated all the men and women of this country. In undying phrases he crystallized the unspoken feeling of all."

Reference: Cohen A142.3.a, A172.2.a, A183.2.a, A194.2, A214.2.a, A223.2, A227.1; Woods/ICS A66(b.1), A89(b.1), A94(b.1), A101(b.1), A107(b), A112(b), A114(a); Langworth pages 207, 214, 220, 224, 229, 235, 248. Item #006113

Price: $14,500.00

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