London: Cassell and Company Ltd., 1950. First edition, only printing. Hardcover. This is a superior, jacketed copy of the British first edition, only printing of the second of Churchill's five postwar speech volumes. Condition is near fine in a near fine dust jacket. The green cloth binding is square, clean, unfaded, and tight with bright spine gilt and only a few minor blemishes. The contents are notably bright and clean, with no spotting and no previous ownership marks. Only the text block edges show minor age-toning. The dust jacket is unclipped, retaining the original lower front flap price, and entirely complete, with no loss. We note only trivial blemishes and minor toning along the rear flap fold and to the spine print and border. The dust jacket is protected beneath a removable, clear archival cover.
Europe Unite includes 52 speeches spanning January 1947 to December 1948. The book reflects Churchill's position as then-Leader of the Opposition, and many of the speeches contain both domestic and foreign policy indictments of Clement Attlee's Labour Government, which had replaced Churchill in 1945. Nonetheless, the title is rooted in Churchill's 7 May 1948 speech to the Congress of Europe. Churchill was an early, ardent, and vital advocate of pan-European integration. This and earlier speeches lent impetus to what would eventually become the European Union.
As ardent an advocate as Churchill was of Britain, and though his rhetoric and sentiments could ascend inspiring heights, Churchill had been a soldier, a war leader, a politician and statesman and as such, could not fail to be a realist. Postwar Britain was diminished economically, militarily, and territorially. As Randolph Churchill said in his introduction to the book, Britain's "place in the world can only be regained" in part by "assumption by Britain of a leading role in promoting the unity of Europe." The movement toward European integration would continue to prevail. So would Churchill. During the election of February 1950 - the month this book was published - Churchill polled more than 37,000 votes, double that of his challenger. Labour's majority was reduced to six, and when Prime Minister Clement Attlee called another election in 1951 the Conservatives won 321 seats to Labour’s 295, returning Churchill to Downing Street.
Reference: Cohen A246.1, Woods/ICS A128(a), Langworth p.296. Item #007755