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In the Balance
Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1952. First edition, only printing. Hardcover. This is a collector-worthy copy of the U.S. first edition, only printing of the third of Churchill's five volumes of post-war speeches. This first American edition is considerably scarcer than the British edition; only 2,000 copies were issued, in contrast to 8,200 copies of the British counterpart. Though the U.S. edition was issued using British first edition sheets, it is distinctly different in appearance, bound in a medium brown cloth with a dark red dust jacket. The dust jacket is the major weakness of the U.S. edition, as it proved exceptionally vulnerable to spine fading. This copy is fine in a very good plus dust jacket with a wholly unfaded spine. The dust jacket is unclipped, retaining the original "$5.00" front flap price, with only fractional losses to spine ends and corners. We note no color shift between the red front face and spine. Minor wear to extremities and hinges and some soiling to the white rear face are more than compensated by the bright shelf presentation. The dust jacket is protected with a removable, archival quality clear cover. The volume beneath is excellent. The binding is square, clean, and tight with sharp corners. The contents are bright and crisp with no spotting and no previous owner inscriptions. The book feels unread. In the Balance includes 58 speeches and broadcasts delivered between 26 January 1949 and 14 December 1950. Having done so much to win the war, Churchill faced frustration of his postwar plans when his wartime government fell to Labour in the General Election of July 1945. In the Balance was published in England on 18 October 1951, just a week before the Conservatives won the General Election, returning Churchill to Downing Street on 26 October 1951 at the age of 76. Interestingly, this American edition was not published until 22 April 1952, well after Churchill returned to power, since before then the publisher lacked confidence in the U.S. market appeal of another volume of Churchill's speeches. Befitting a Leader of the Opposition, Churchill's speeches address a wide range of domestic and foreign issues, including devaluation of the British Pound, the General Election of February 1950, the Korean War, and establishment of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. By this time, the political experience that underpinned Churchill's postwar oratory was unrivaled. Member of Parliament for half a century, Churchill was beginning his sixth consecutive decade serving in a British Cabinet. Perhaps nothing better speaks to Churchill's truly singular experience than his 31 March 1949 speech at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (at pages 40-51), where he gave a tour de force survey of the period 1900-1945 that is - characteristic of Churchill - both incisive and lyrical: "In 1900 a sense of moving hopefully forward to brighter, broader, easier days predominated. Little did we guess that what has been called the Century of the Common Man would witness as its outstanding feature more common men killing each other with greater facilities than any other five centuries put together in the history of the world... but it is not in the power of material forces in any period... to alter the main elements in human nature or restrict the infinite variety of forms in which the soul and genius of the human race can and will express itself." Bibliographic reference: Cohen A255.2, Woods/ICS A130(b), Langworth p.302.
      [Bookseller: Churchill Book Collector]
Last Found On: 2018-02-19           Check availability:      Biblio    

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