New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1932. First U.S. edition, only printing. Hardcover. This is an unusually clean, jacketed example of the U.S. first edition, only printing. Churchill's collection of 23 engaging essays on an incredibly wide variety of subjects has been called "The broadest range of Churchill's thought between hard covers" and reflects the two qualities that so characterize Churchill's life - a remarkable breadth of both mind and life experience. The content ranges from personal and political musings to prescient speculation on the future. The original front flap blurb encapsulates – as far as is possible – the wide range of the chapters within: “These true stories concern such things as the tides that make a politician change his mind; the domination of chance in human lives; the cartoonists who mocked Churchill; the chances and events that occurred while he was in the trenches; phases of the war seen from intimate participation with the high commands; flying experiences in 1912; the Irish; the future; and contemporary change." In a 31 May 1932 letter to his publisher about the book, Churchill characterized his book thus: "...although there is no one single theme, it has some of the best things in it I have ever written."
Published in the Britain as Thoughts and Adventures, this 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 edition text was photo-reproduced from the British first edition, but everything else about the edition differs markedly from its British counterpart. The bright red-orange coarse cloth binding of Amid These Storms matches the style of the 1930 U.S. first edition of A Roving Commission but the dust jacket for Amid These Storms is strikingly unique. It bears a full-length photo of Churchill in Flanders in 1916, wearing his French Poilu's helmet. This image appears on both the spine and front face. The orange color on the dust jacket and the red-orange binding proved exceptionally prone to sunning. Further, both the coarse cloth binding and the white fields of the dust jacket proved quite susceptible to soiling. Jacketed copies are scarce and truly bright copies are a rarity; most copies look like they spent time in the trenches with Churchill.
Here is an impressively clean, near fine copy in a very good dust jacket. The red-orange cloth binding is not only square and tight with sharp corners, but also vividly bright, both the gilt and orange hue undimmed. A little wrinkling at the spine ends and incidental soiling are the only small exterior flaws to report. The contents are respectably clean, mildly age-toned with a few spots of browning to the endpapers. Trivial spotting appears confined to the page edges, the top edges also showing some shelf dust. The sole previous ownership mark is an inked name on the front free endpaper recto. Differential toning to the endpapers corresponding to the dust jacket flaps corroborates what the bright binding already testifies – that this copy has spent life jacketed. The unclipped dust jacket retains the original “$3.50” front flap price. The orange spine panels are only modestly sunned, still retaining an appreciable amount of their original hue. The jacket shows some overall soiling and wear to extremities, with shallow loss at the spine head and fractional loss at the spine heel and corners. While certainly not fine, the jacket is both a substantially complete and impressively clean example. The dust jacket is protected with a removable, clear, archival cover.
The book is housed in a custom quarter-Morocco goatskin Solander case, featuring dark red leather spine over medium red buckram sides. The rounded solander spine features raised spine bands framed by gilt rules and twin Morocco title and author labels in black and green. The cover transitions are blind-tooled and the Solander interior is lined with marbled paper.
Reference: Cohen A95.2, Woods/ICS A39(ba), Langworth p.158. Item #006830