“ONE OF THE MOST BRILLIANT TREATISES ON WAR THAT HAS EVER BEEN WRITTEN”: FIRST EDITION OF WINSTON CHURCHILL'S THE WORLD CRISIS 1916-1918: VOLUME II; Signed by Winston S. Churchill
The World Crisis 1916-1918. Vol. II.
Churchill, Winston S.$6,500.00
Item Number: 105834
New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1927.
True first edition of the second volume in Part III of Churchill’s The World Crisis. Octavo, original cloth, illustrated with numerous maps (many folding), charts, facsimiles, photographs. Boldly signed by the author on the front free endpaper, “Inscribed by Winston S. Churchill Nov 1929.” In fine condition.
Churchill's American biographer William Manchester purported The World Crisis to be Churchill's masterpiece. The work was published over a period of eight years, resulting in a final six-volume, 3,261-page account of the Great War, beginning with its origins in 1911 and ending with its repercussions in the 1920s. Magnificently written, it is enhanced by the presence of the author at the highest councils of war and in the trenches as a battalion commander. In agreement with Manchester, British historian Robert Rhodes James wrote of the work: For all its pitfalls as history, The World Crisis must surely stand as Churchills masterpiece. As first lord of the admiralty and minister for war and air, Churchill stood resolute at the center of international affairs. In this classic account, he dramatically details how the tides of despair and triumph flowed and ebbed as the political and military leaders of the time navigated the dangerous currents of world conflict. Churchill vividly recounts the major campaigns that shaped the war: the furious attacks of the Marne, the naval maneuvers off Jutland, Verdun's "soul-stirring frenzy," and the surprising victory of Chemins des Dames. Here, too, he re-creates the dawn of modern warfare: the buzz of airplanes overhead, trench combat, artillery thunder, and the threat of chemical warfare. In Churchill's inimitable voice we hear how "the war to end all wars" instead gave birth to every war that would follow. "The World Crisis is at once an outstandingly readable history of the First World War -- the seminal drama of modern times -- and an eyewitness account, especially of its opening years. Whether as a statesman or an author, Churchill was a giant; and The World Crisis towers over most other books about the Great War" (David Fromkin). This comprehensive account of the War is both analytical and on occasions a justification from the author for his part in the proceedings. It is claimed that Churchill suggested this work was "not history, but a contribution to history." Since its publication both biographers and historians have considered it Churchill's masterpiece, eclipsing his better-known account 'The Second World War'; T. E. Lawrence regarded the second volume, 1915, as "far and away the best war-book I've yet read."