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The Second World War, full set of six U.S - Winston S. Churchill - 1948. 
Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston 1948 - This six-volume, jacketed set of first editions is inscribed by Churchill to the U.S. Ambassador to Britain in the year that Churchill returned to 10 Downing Street for his second and final premiership. The Volume IV front free endpaper is inscribed in five lines in blue ink: "To His Excellency | Mr. Gifford | from | Winston S. Churchill | 1951". This inscription speaks to the "special relationship" which Churchill coined and which pervaded so much of Churchills political life and literature. Walter Sherman Gifford (18851966) was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain by President Harry S. Truman. Not long after graduating from Harvard, Gifford began a career with AT&T, which was interrupted by the First World War, during which Gifford became director of the Council of National Defense. "In 1918, when Churchill was Minister of Munitions, Gifford was Secretary to the United States Representation on the Inter-Allied Munitions Council." (Gilbert, Volume VIII, p.615) Gifford became AT&Ts President in January 1925, holding the post until 1948. During the Second World War AT&T developed radar and microwave technology while Gifford "played a substantial role in the wartime mobilization effort, as a member of the War Resources Board and as chairman of the Industry Advisory Committee of the Board of War Communications." (ADNB) Gifford became U.S. ambassador to Great Britain in November 1950. He represented the United States in implementation of the Marshall Plan, creation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and negotiation of the Japanese Peace Treaty. On 3 June 1951, Gifford and Margaret Truman came to lunch at Chartwell. Churchill gave Truman a painting for her father. It is plausible that he autographed this volume for Gifford at the same time. Certainly they had further occasion to interact after Churchill returned to 10 Downing Street on 26 October 1951. "After the presidential election of November 1953, Winston Churchill urged Eisenhower to break with precedent by leaving Gifford in London" but Eisenhower "felt obliged to award the diplomatic prize to those who had contributed generously to his election campaign." (The Embassy in Grosvenor Square, Holmes & Rolfe, p.113) Churchills The Second World War was originally published in six volumes between 1948 and 1953. The U.S. first edition is not only scarcer than its British counterpart, but is also the true first edition. This inscribed fourth volume was the most recent available the year that Churchill signed it. The Hinge of Fate was published on 27 November 1950, the same month that Gifford became Ambassador. The fifth volume was not published until 23 November 1951. All six volumes in this set are true U.S. first trade editions, not Book-of-the-Month Club look-alikes. The unclipped dust jackets all retain the $6.00 price, all top edges are stained yellow-orange, title pages are dated, the bindings all have red and yellow head and foot bands, and there are no rear cover BOMC indentations. The inscribed Volume IV is in very good condition in a very good dust jacket. The binding remains square and tight with sharp corners and only mild dulling of the spine and light wear to the spine ends. The contents show no spotting or previous ownership marks other than the authors inscription. The Volume IV dust jacket is bright and clean, with modest wear to hinges and extremities. The balance of the set features very good plus or better volumes in very good plus or better dust jackets. The bindings are uniformly square, clean, bright, and tight. The contents show no previous ownership marks and light spotting appears confined to endsheets and page edges. Shelf appearance is excellent, with none of the customary fading to the jacket spines and only modest wear to the jackets. The dust jackets are protected in removable, archival quality clear covers. Bibliographic reference: Cohen A240.1(I-VI).a, Woods/ICS A123(aa), Langworth p.258. [Attributes: First Edition; Signed Copy; Hard Cover]
[Bookseller: Churchill Book Collector ABAA/ILAB/IOBA]
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