The Unrelenting Struggle Browse current inventory of this title

By Winston S. Churchill
First published in 1942 by Cassell and Company Ltd., London

"... this is the lesson: never give in, never give in,
never, never, never, never -
in nothing, great or small, large or petty - never give in
except to convictions of honour and good sense.
Never yield to force;
never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy."

(Remarks of 21 October, 1941 to the students of Harrow School)


The Unrelenting Struggle is the second volume of Churchill's famous war speeches, containing 72 of Churchill's speeches, broadcasts, and messages to Parliament from November 1940 to the end of 1941. Churchill's words during this time resounded during some of the darkest and most uncertain days of the war.  The volume ends with a crucial turning of the tide.

In the days after the 7 December 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States formally entered the Second World War, marking the end of Britain's solitary stand against Hitler's Germany, which it had sustained since the fall of France.  Churchill immediately decided to travel to the United States, and on 12 December 1941 he boarded the battleship Duke of York and began the 10-day trip across the Atlantic - a perilous journey at a time when German U-Boats plagued the North Atlantic.  The final two speeches in this volume are Churchill's first speech to Congress of 26 December 1941 and to the Canadian Parliament on 30 December 1941.

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, painter, Nobel Prize winner. But Churchill's preeminence as a historical figure owes most to his indispensable leadership during the Second World War, when his soaring and defiant oratory sustained his countrymen and inspired the free world.  Of Churchill, Edward R. Murrow said, "He mobilized the English language and sent it into battle."

Between 1941 and 1946, Churchill's war speeches were published in seven individual volumes.  The seven British first editions of Churchill's wartime speech volumes were all issued by the same publisher and of uniform height and binding (with minor variations).  The accompanying dust jackets featured a consistent style for the first six volumes, which varied only in color scheme.  The first editions are visually striking, but were printed on cheap wartime paper, bound in coarse cloth with thin boards beneath, and the dust jackets were likewise printed on thin paper. Hence the first editions proved highly susceptible to spotting, soiling, fading, and wear, so the passage of time shows on most surviving copies.

Churchill's son, Randolph, had served as compiler for the preceding speech volumes Arms and the Covenant and Into Battle.  By the time this volume was being prepared for publication, Randolph was serving in Africa.  Charles Eade, Editor of the Sunday Dispatch, offered his services free of charge.  His offer was accepted and he performed this service for the balance of Churchill's war speech volumes, as noted on title pages and dust jacket spines.

The first printing of The Unrelenting Struggle is found bound either in the more common coarse cloth or a smoother blue cloth.  A first state of the first printing is distinguished by irregular pagination on page 281.  The dust jacket is colored orange on the upper half transitioning into charcoal on the lower half, with print in white and black.  Collectors should note that the first printing dust jackets are unique, second and later printings distinguished by changes to flap content.  There were four printings of the first edition issued between September 1942 and June 1946.

The U.S. first edition is the first of Churchill's first editions published by Little, Brown and Company.  It is bound in red cloth stamped in gilt with black title panels on the spine and front cover.  The illustrated dust jacket is printed red, black, and white with a head and shoulders photograph by Karsh on the upper front panel.

As with the British editions, there were eventually seven individual U.S. volumes of Churchill's war speeches published between 1941 and 1946.  However, unlike their British counterparts the U.S. editions vary considerably in publisher, size, and appearance.  The first volume, with a U.S. title of Blood, Sweat, and Tears, was published by G.P. Putnam's Sons, in a binding style matching Putnam's publications of Great Contemporaries (1937), While England Slept (1938), and Step By Step (1939) but with a distinctively unique dust jacket.  Volumes 2-6 were published by Little, Brown and Company.  Each of these five volumes was bound in red cloth with a black and red illustrated dust jacket, but the volumes differ considerably in height with volumes 4-6 smaller.  Wartime material rationing is cited as the reason for this shrinking on the Volume 5 dust jacket flap.  The final volume was published by Simon and Schuster in an entirely different size, binding, and dust jacket style.

A Canadian edition was issued from U.S. sheets, bound and jacketed as the U.S. edition with the Canadian publisher's name (McClelland and Stewart) substituted for that of the U.S. publisher.  All seven Canadian war speech volumes were published by McClelland and Stewart, with only the first and final volume dust jackets differing appreciably from their U.S. counterparts.

Rounding out the English language first editions of The Unrelenting Struggle was an Australian first edition published by Cassell, Melbourne, in 1942.  This was the first of Churchill's war speeches volumes with an Australian edition.  While there were ultimately seven British, U.S., and Canadian first editions of Churchill's war speeches, there was no Australian edition of the first volume, Into Battle, making a full Australian set only six volumes.  The bindings of the Australian edition war volumes vary considerably within and between each edition.  Most Australian edition dust jackets roughly echo the style of the British first editions, though with significant differences, particularly to this first volume, as well as to that of the final volume (Secret Session Speeches).  The Australian first edition of The Unrelenting Struggle features a solid, off-white spine with black print and an illustrated front face printed with an abstract cloud and night rain over the ocean design rendered in dark orange, black, and white.

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