The Second World War: The Gathering Storm; Their Finest Hour; The Grand Alliance; The Hinge of Fate; Closing the Ring; Triumph and Tragedy.

"We shall show mercy, but we shall not ask for it": First Editions of Winston Churchill’s Masterpiece The Second World War; inscribed by Winston S. Churchill

The Second World War: The Gathering Storm; Their Finest Hour; The Grand Alliance; The Hinge of Fate; Closing the Ring; Triumph and Tragedy.

CHURCHILL, Winston S.

$9,800.00

Item Number: 128233

Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1948-53.

First American editions of Winston Churchill’s masterpiece. Octavo, six volumes, original cloth, illustrated. The Finest Hour is an association copy, inscribed by Churchill on the front free endpaper, “From Winston to Rab 1959.” The recipient, Richard Austin “Rab” Butler was a prominent British Conservative politician who served as Education Minister (1941–45, overseeing the Education Act 1944) and later Chancellor of the Exchequer (1951–55) under ChurchillThe two politicians clashed repeatedly pre-war with Butler advocating German appeasement and for Halifax to be appointed Prime Minister after Chamberlain instead of Churchill, yet Butler later played a crucial role in Churchill’s administrations. He had an exceptionally long ministerial career and was one of only two British politicians (the other being John Simon, 1st Viscount Simon) to have served in three of the four Great Offices of State but never to have been Prime Minister, for which he was passed over in 1957 and 1963. He was appointed o the Order of the Companions of Honour in 1954 and was, notably, one of the ministers who demanded that Churchill set a date for his retirement in 1954. Each volume is near fine in a very good to near fine dust jacket. An excellent association.

"Winston Churchill himself affirmed that ‘this is not history: this is my case" (Holmes, 285). Churchill was re-elected to the post of Prime Minister in 1951. "The Second World War is a great work of literature, combining narrative, historical imagination and moral precept in a form that bears comparison with that of the original master chronicler, Thucydides. It was wholly appropriate that in 1953 Churchill was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature" (Keegan). Named by Modern Library as one of the 100 best non-fiction books of the twentieth century. It placed number one on the 100 best non-fiction books of the twentieth century by National Review magazine.

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