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The Unknown War The Eastern Front - CHURCHILL, Winston - 1931. 
New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1931 - Octavo. Original maroon cloth, spine and front board lettered in gilt, fore edge untrimmed. Spine slightly frayed at extremities with short (14 mm) closed tear to head, tips faintly rubbed and bumped, contents toned, shallow fore-edge chip to preface leaf where clumsily opened, the text unaffected, strip of tanning to rear free endpaper and pastedown. A very good copy. Half-tone photographic frontispiece, 7 similar plates, 10 maps of which one folding and in colour, frequent maps and plans to the text. First edition, first printing. Presentation copy of the final volume of The World Crisis, with "To Elbert A. Wickes, Inscribed by Winston Churchill, March 1932" to the front free endpaper. Wickes was the president of Alber & Wickes, the Boston-based literary and theatrical agency which arranged Churchill's money-making American lecture tour undertaken in the winter of 1931-2. In an effort to recoup his losses from the Stock Market crash, Churchill agreed to a series of forty lectures to be given across America "for a guaranteed minimum fee of £10,000" (Gilbert, Churchill, vol. 5, p. 420). Arriving on 11 December, he delivered his first lecture at Worcester, Massachusetts, the following day. On the 13th, back in New York, he was hit by a taxi while crossing Fifth Avenue, sustaining a severe scalp wound and two cracked ribs, and later developing pleurisy. A week-long stay in hospital was followed by two weeks of recuperation at the Waldorf-Astoria, after which he sailed for the Bahamas with Clemmie, not returning until 25 January 1932. He gave the last lecture of the tour was at Boston's Symphony Hall on 10 March. "Had he been killed he would perhaps be remembered today as the most illustrious and interesting failure in twentieth-century British politics. Instead he recovered and returned home to resume his India campaign" (ODNB). Writing to his publisher on his return to Britain he commented: "I am much better, but I feel I need to rest and not to drive myself so hard. You have no idea what I have been through" (Gilbert, op. cit., p. 427) Cohen A69.1(V).a; Langworth, ICS A31aa; Woods A31(aa). [Attributes: First Edition; Signed Copy]
[Bookseller: Peter Harrington. ABA member]
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