Sacramento, California: The Churchilliana Company, 1977. First U.S. edition. Hardcover. This copy of the first U.S. edition in the publisher’s "collector's" binding is in fine condition, with no wear, soiling, previous ownership marks, or any signs of handling or use. The sole defect is spotting to the otherwise clean page edges, appreciable only to the top edge of the text block.
The 1903 first edition of Mr. Brodrick's Army is the scarcest of all Churchill books and commands a towering premium on the rare occasions a copy is offered for sale. The good news is that there is an alternative for both readers and collectors. Published in 1977, this first U.S. edition was issued 74 years after the British first edition. This edition was a meticulous facsimile reprint. The original work of 102 pages in red card wraps is faithfully reproduced and 5 additional pages are added at the front including a preface by Manfred Weidhorn. The publisher offered two grades of binding – a brick red cloth "library" binding and this “collector’s” binding featuring brown buckram spine over yellow-tan linen cloth covered boards. In both binding variants, the spine and front cover are gilt-stamped. The endpapers reproduce Churchill's entry in Who's Who.
In 1903 Winston Churchill was a brash new Member of Parliament. The Secretary of State for War, John Brodrick, had introduced a plan for expanding the peacetime Army. Brodrick was a fellow Conservative and Cabinet member. Churchill had been an Army officer and had participated in four wars on three continents before election to Parliament in 1900. Nonetheless, Churchill vehemently assaulted Brodrick's plan. Fascinatingly, this was the same fight upon which Churchill's father, Lord Randolph Churchill, had gambled and lost his own political career in 1886. Unlike his father, Churchill ultimately prevailed; Brodrick was left politically isolated and removed from the War Office to become Secretary of State for India.
Churchill's opposition included six major speeches on the subject. These six oratorical assaults were published in 1903 by Arthur L. Humphreys of London in an extravagantly rare wraps edition titled Mr. Brodrick's Army. The political fight over Mr. Brodrick's Army scheme was a personal and political watershed for Churchill. It can fairly be said that the young Churchill's brazen and successful opposition to a powerful figure in his own party on this particular issue helped him emerge from the long shadow of his father. Moreover, the fight helped set the stage for Churchill's 1904 defection from the Conservatives to join the Liberal Party.
Reference: Cohen A10.3.a, Woods/ICS A6(c), Langworth p.67. Item #007133