Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1945. First U.S. edition, first printing. Hardcover. This is the U.S. first edition, first printing of the fifth volume of Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill's war speeches. This volume publishes his speeches, broadcasts, messages, statements, and letters made, sent, and issued between 22 February and 31 December 1944. A full and momentous year, 1944 included the Normandy invasion, the largest amphibious operation in history, which re-established the Allied military presence in German-occupied Europe. While much fighting was yet to come and the war was not yet over, as 1944 drew to a close the suspended tensions of domestic politics as well as the complex jockeying for postwar spoils among allies intruded ever more urgently on a unified war effort. Churchill would be unable to hold the many political fractures and frustrations at bay for much longer.
This may explain why only 3,500 copies of this U.S. first edition, first printing of The Dawn of Liberation 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 plausibly, the publisher anticipated reduced demand due 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.
The Dawn of Liberation is also physically the smallest of the seven U.S. first editions of Churchill’s war speeches. The reason for this variation appears on the dust jacket flap: “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…”
All of these factors conspire to make this U.S. first edition, first printing elusive. Condition of this copy is very good plus in a fair dust jacket. The red cloth binding is square, tight, and clean, with only light shelf wear to extremities, including wrinkling at spine ends and tiny corner bumps. The contents are bright and clean with no previous ownership marks. A trivial amount of barely noticeable spotting appears confined to the otherwise clean untrimmed fore edges. The top edge shows only a small stain and light dust soiling. The dust jacket is unclipped, retaining the “$3.50” front flap price, and bright, the red spine panel showing only the slightest toning. Nonetheless, the jacket is considerably worn, with small chips along the edges and flap folds, a split front flap fold, light overall soiling to the white rear face, and a vertical crease and various smaller creases and minor chipping to the spine. The dust jacket is protected beneath a clear, removable, archival cover.
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 and soaring, defiant oratory during the Second World War. 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. The U.S. first editions were generally published in smaller numbers and are scarcer than their British counterparts.
Reference: Cohen A214.2.a, Woods/ICS A107(b.1), Langworth p.229. Item #006843