London: Cassell and Company Ltd., 1948. First edition, only printing. Hardcover. Here is a superior jacketed set of all five of Churchill's post-WWII speech volumes, increasingly challenging to assemble thus. This set is among the best we have been able to offer.
All five volumes in this set are in truly fine condition. Their jackets vary from very good plus to near-fine plus. All five cloth bindings are strikingly clean, tight, and square with sharp corners, bright spine gilt, and virtually no wear. The contents of all five volumes are exceptionally clean. We find no previous ownership marks. The sole instance of spotting in the set is mild and entirely confined to the top edges of Stemming the Tide. The text block edges of all five volumes are otherwise clean apart from a little shelf dust to the top edges of The Sinews of Peace.
The dust jackets are equally impressive. All five jackets are unclipped, retaining the original front flap prices. All five jackets are entirely unfaded, with exceptional color and shelf presentation. The only loss to report is fractional chipping at the spine head of The Sinews of Peace. The jackets are otherwise complete, and show only minor blemishes and varying degrees of light soiling to the white rear panels. Stemming the Tide has the more desirable and elusive first state dust jacket. All five dust jackets are fitted with clear, removable, archival covers.
These volumes span the period from Demobilization in late 1945, when Churchill was Leader of the Opposition, through his second Premiership (1951-1955) into a time when Churchill passes "into a living national memorial" of the time he has lived and the Nation, Empire, and free world he has served.
The events encompassed by these years are in many ways no less dramatic than those of the war years – including the unraveling of the British Empire, the post-war recovery, the onset of the Cold War, Soviet acquisition of the atomic bomb, development of the hydrogen bomb, and the beginning of the space age. Even at the waning of his life and career, Churchill met and framed these exceptional times with a singularly experienced voice. By the time Churchill's first postwar speeches volume was published, his oratorical prowess was unrivaled in public life. Churchill had a remarkable full half century of vigorous public speaking and dozens of published volumes to his credit. Before his final volume of postwar speeches was published, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, both for his books and "for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values.”
Among many noteworthy speeches in these volumes is Churchill’s "Iron Curtain" speech given at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri on 5 March 1946, where Churchill coined the phrase that described the division between the Soviet Union's sphere of influence and the West, incisively framing the Cold War that would dominate the second half of the twentieth century. There is also Churchill's 7 May 1948 speech to the Congress of Europe, which, along with other speeches, showed Churchill to be an early, ardent, and vital advocate of pan-European integration, and lent impetus to what would eventually become the European Union. And there is Churchill’s speech "The Twentieth Century - Its Promise and Its Realization," delivered in the spring of 1949 to an international conference tasked with exploring the socio-political implications of scientific progress. This speech is a tour de force survey of the period 1900-1945 that is both incisive and lyrical, humbling and inspiring.
These postwar speech volumes are scarcer than Churchill’s War Speeches volumes; all five of these books had only a single printing each. Also of note, the fifth and final volume, The Unwritten Alliance, is the last of Churchill's books published in his lifetime and was issued only in Britain, with no U.S. edition.
Reference: Cohen A241.1, A246.1, A255.1, A264.1, A273; Woods/ICS A124(a), A128(a), A130(a), A137(a), A142; Langworth pages 184, 296, 301, 309, 338. Item #007689