American title: BLOOD, SWEAT, AND TEARS
(Cohen A142) (Woods A66)
The idea of publishing a book of war speeches was suggested to Churchill by Desmond Flower, Literary Director of Cassell Publishing, with whom Churchill had contracted to write A History of the English-Speaking Peoples—a project Churchill had drafted and then set aside when war came. The obvious political and propaganda value of a speech collection clearly appealed to the author, and six further volumes would follow. Into Battle takes up where Arms and the Covenant leaves off, containing every major Churchill peroration from May 1938 through November 1940. Like its predecessor, it was edited with a Preface by Randolph Churchill. It is without doubt the most inspiring of all his speech volumes. All his great orations are there: “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat….You ask what is our aim? I can answer in one word—Victory….Arm yourselves and be ye men of valour….Fight on the beaches….Their finest hour….Never was so much owed by so many to so few.” Here are charted the uneasy months of the “phoney war,” the sudden German conquest of Denmark and Norway, the Blitzkrieg in the west, the Belgian surrender, the French collapse, the change of Prime Minister. What a tale they tell.
It should be remembered that almost half the book consists of speeches delivered before war was declared—in which Churchill’s arguments only seem like common sense. At the time, things were different. Britain had lost the cream of a generation in the First World War. “The British people would do anything to stop Hitler, except fight him,” Alistair Cooke told the 1988 International Churchill Conference, adding, as he looked around a room of four hundred Churchillians: “Had all of you been there at the time, not one in ten of you would have been with him.”
In February 1941, after hearing that Lend-Lease had passed the U. S. Congress and broadcasting to America, “Give us the tools and we will finish the job!,” Churchill took a moment to inscribe a copy of Into Battle to the supplier of his favorite whiskey, Sir Alexander Walker. That copy is on my desk as I write. Opening it at random, I find an earlier broadcast to America: April 28th, 1939, just after Hitler had responded mockingly to Roosevelt’s letter asking that he declare if he had any further hostile intent toward Germany’s neighbors. I am struck at once by the evenness of Churchill’s reply. Here is a man described by Hitler (and more than one latter-day revisionist historian) as a mindless war-monger, intent on dragging Britain into a war she couldn’t win out of single-minded hatred and burgeoning ego:
“It is quite natural that Herr Hitler should not like the way in which the Great War ended….But when Herr Hitler complains of the reparations exacted from Germany, we are surely entitled to point out that far more than was ever extracted in reparations was lent to Germany, part by Britain, but mostly by the United States of America, the bulk of which is not likely to be repaid….If there be encirclement of Germany, it is not military or economic encirclement. It is a psychological encirclement. The masses of the peoples in all the countries around Germany are forcing their governments to be on their guard against tyranny and invasion….Nothing can now stop this process except a change of heart in the German leaders, or a change of those leaders. But there is no country…that would tolerate for one moment the idea of attacking Germany, or of trying to impede her peaceful development and legitimate growth. On the contrary, the return of Germany to the circle and family of Europe, and to the wide, lofty uplands of a progressive, tolerant, prosperous civilisation, remains the sovereign hope of the British, French and American democracies. And this is what is going to happen in the end.”
All he was saying, in the words of another time, was “Give Peace a Chance.”
Into Battle went through twelve impressions in Great Britain. In its North American guise, Blood, Sweat, and Tears, it sold more copies than any previous Churchill work, paid off all of Winston’s debts and most of Randolph’s, and accounted for nearly 60,000 copies in the American market alone. More than any other book to come out of the war, it bolstered the fainthearted, gave strength to the weak and encouraged the strong. Here between two hard covers, in Edward R. Murrow’s words, was the English language mobilized for battle. It deserved to be a best seller, and it probably introduced Winston Churchill to more Americans and Canadians than any other of his books. To paraphrase a comment often made about Churchill himself, no one ever left this book without feeling braver.
-Richard M. Langworth
From the Reviews
“When Nature gave Winston Churchill the urge to be an orator of the front rank, she gave him at the same time certain physical handicaps. His stammer, the hard and somewhat metallic quality of his voice, his limited register and restricted power of cadence, have all militated against the achievement of his ambition. At times, too, his temperament has seemed to worsen the situation, for his love of verbal color has made some of his speeches seem garish, and his innate aggressiveness has lent a note of stridency to many of his speeches both in the constituencies and in the House. Yet here also he has triumphed through the integration effected by a supreme purpose. Now at last he has become the superb master of his instrument as well as the master of an individual style that perhaps has no peer today.
“‘Majestic’ is, to me, the word that comes nearest to indicating Churchill’s essential oratorical quality; it is something that wells up from deep within the man himself. From the day when he captivated the Commons by his maiden speech at the age of twenty-seven, he has always reveled in the organ tones of rhetoric. Time has been when, to some of his critics, the rhetoric seemed more apparent than the majesty, and when it seemed that he had needless adorned the passing episode with a brocaded panoply of diction that ill became its meagre form. But here again the man and the moment have fused into a higher manifestation. In Britain’s crisis, the grandeur of his manner has matched the gravity of the occasion….
“This book could be analyzed with profit as an anthology of English prose wherefrom one might learn much concerning both the orator’s technique and the Prime Minister’s personality. It could be considered as the raw material of the historian….But there is something else to consider about this book: Churchill’s speeches have themselves become major events in the war. His great appeals—particularly those of last summer—have steadied the nerves and steeled the will of his people in their supreme ordeal. His own tenacity has both reflected and invigorated that of the whole British Commonwealth. More than that, there is in these pages a patriotism which burns at such intensity that it has transcended the boundaries of a state until it has become the beacon of the Western way of life.”
-Cecil H. Driver in The Yale Review, June 1941
A key speech book, easy to come by in ordinary worn condition, but perfect, unspotted copies are now at a premium. Strongly recommended for its majestic oratory, Into Battle belongs on every library shelf.
This was once a book one could find anywhere for a couple of dollars (or the equivalent). One still can, but the books will not be first editions. Jacketed firsts have risen dramatically. Truly fine, unspotted copies in near-fine, un-chipped dust jackets command serious money nowadays. No premium attaches to the binding variant and there is little demand for presentation bindings because they are invariably later impressions.
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Cohen A142.1 / Woods A66(a)
Publisher: Cassell and Company Ltd., London, 1941
Light blue cloth blocked gilt with title, author’s name (with titles P.C., M.P.) and CASSELL on spine. 8vo, 322 pages numbered (i)-viii and 1-313 (+1), with frontispiece (Cecil Beaton photo of the author) opposite title page. Published February 1941 at 8s. 6d. ($2.13).
Impressions and Quantities
Twelve impressions (incorrectly termed “Editions” in the volumes): February (5), April, July and November 1941; January 1942; December 1943; May 1945. Woods records 30,000 copies for the first edition and 29,700 more for the reprints, but lists only seven impressions. This is belied by notes in the books themselves. Mr. Woods told me he had obtained this information from the publisher’s records; the figures may refer to printings of sheets that were stockpiled until each new impression was required.
Identifying first editions: title page verso contains the line, “First Published 1941” with no reprints indicated, and the code “F.141” (printed in January).
Commencing with the sixth (?) impression, six lines of the poem “Into Battle” by Julian Grenfell, a World War I soldier-poet, appear on the title page.
Some trade copies of the first edition were bound in a smoother, dark blue cloth. Publisher’s presentation copies were bound in full black pebble grain morocco.
In December 1943, some tenth impressions were bound in navy half morocco and blue cloth, top edges gilt for corporate presentation. Many bear a gift bookplate from the General Fire Appliance Company Ltd., London.
Note: Woods states that a single leaf (“War with Germany,” 3 September 1939) was tipped into a majority of a “second issue.” No such examples have been encountered until the second impression. Since the books themselves record five February 1941 impressions and Woods only one, Woods was probably confusing one of the later February impressions with the first. (Incidentally, this extra page “128a/b” was never added to the contents page.)
Jackets are printed red fading into black on white paper, and have often been switched. True first impression jackets advertise Quentin Reynolds’s The Wounded Don’t Cry on the front flap; Rosita Forbes’s The Prodigious Caribbean and Stefan Zweig’s The Tide of Fortune on the back flap, and notes about Into Battle on the back face. Identical jackets were used on the second impression and half of the third impression. Later jacket flaps were altered. Many collectors believe the words “Book Society Choice” (jacket face and spine designate a book club dust jacket. Not so: all jackets for Into Battle are so inscribed; the Book Society simply sold trade editions.
Cohen A142.2 / ICS A66c
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart Ltd., Toronto, 1941
Dark red cloth blocked gilt (title between two rules on top board, title, author’s name (CHURCHILL) and publisher’s names between multiple rules on spine. 8vo, 496 pages numbered (i)-viii and 1-488, with frontispiece (Cecil Beaton photo of the author, with facsimile signature) and eight other photographs printed sepia on coated stock, tipped in before pages 73, 89, 169, 185, 265, 281, 361 and 377. Top page edges stained red. Published March 1941. Second edition (also 1941) bound in different cloth with three speeches added and 536 pages numbered (i)-viii and 1-525 (+3).
Identifying first editions: aside from the extra pages, the contents of both editions are identical, showing no difference in title pages or versos. All first editions we have seen were bound in a red cloth with obvious vertical scoremarks; later editions are bound in a more evenly textured red cloth or a vertically scored grey cloth, blocked navy. We refer readers to the Cohen Bibliography to sort out these mysteries.
First and second editions have been found with and without the photographs, and there is no list of illustrations to confirm or deny their presence. There are also two binding variants of the second edition (see above). Many believe all red copies are first editions; not so.
Jackets are uniform with but of course larger than the Putnam American edition, printed dark red and navy on cream stock with the title, author name and book blurb on both front and back faces. Jackets contain no price and do not vary between editions.
The most elegant rendering of this work, the Canadian Edition is substantially taller and wider than the American, printed on much finer paper than the British, and the only one of the three English language editions to contain (sometimes) internal illustrations. It is completely reset, and omits one speech from Into Battle (curiously, Churchill’s first speech as Prime Minister, 13 May 1940). The second edition adds three speeches whose inclusion is obvious from lighter type on contents page vi: “The War Situation” (19 Dec 40), “To the Italian People” (23 Dec 40) and “Give Us The Tools” (9 Feb 41).
Aesthetically the most desirable English language war speech volume, (later Canadian issues were more mundane), this edition is underappreciated by collectors, to many of whom it is unfamiliar. Some collectors resist editions other than English and American; in many cases they are missing something worthwhile. McClelland & Stewart deserve top marks for this beautiful work. Values for the best copies are on the rise.
Publisher: Dominion Book and Bible House, Toronto, 1941
This issue consists of the enlarged, 536-page text bound in dark blue cloth blocked as follows: on top board, “The Rt. Hon. Winston S. Churchill, P.C., M.P.” is reversed out on large gold rectangle; on base of spine, “DOMINION”; spine otherwise blocked like other Canadian Editions. The title page is altered with the name of this publisher.
Cohen A142.3 / ICS A66b
Publisher: G. P. Putnams Sons, New York, 1941
Dark blue cloth blocked silver and red. The top board bears the Churchill Coat of Arms debossed blind at lower right and the title in silver on a 3/8-inch high red band near the top; five similar red bands appear on the spine reading BLOOD, SWEAT, | AND TEARS | [decorative device] | CHURCHILL toward the top and PUTNAM toward the bottom. Top page edges stained red. 8vo, 472 pages, reset and numbered (i)-x and (1)-(462), frontispiece (Beaton photo with facsimile signature) opposite title page. Endpapers are white. Published 14 April 1941 at $3.
Two impressions are known, of 50,000 and 11,700 copies respectively, both in April 1941.
Identifying first editions: title page verso contains no indication of a later impression.
A rare variant of the first edition is bound in black cloth, blocked red and silver as usual on the spine, but blank on the top board (no title, no debossed coat of arms). While this binding bears all the marks of a reprint or book club edition, it has a standard trade dust jacket and carries no indication of a later printing on its title page verso.
A second impression inscribed to Bullitt McClure, President of Westminster College when Churchill made his famous “Iron Curtain” speech in March 1946 exists with red-orange bindings like later impressions of other Putnam Churchill titles; but most second impressions are blue, like the first. The top boards of both second impressions are blank.
Printed red and blue on cream coated stock. Uniform with but smaller than the Canadian Edition, except on the back face, where a drawing of Churchill by K. S. Woerner is printed blue. The front flap contains the price “$3.00” at upper right and (most importantly) no Book of the Month Club logo (see next entry).
The American First is bound uniformly with earlier Putnam’s titles, but is shorter, and the debossed coat of arms is new. The text looks at first like a reduced offprint of the Canadian, but is in fact completely reset and (like all other Putnam Churchills) is translated into “American.”
It contains no internal illustrations, but more important, it contains three speeches not in either the first English or Canadian editions: “War (3 Sep 39) later added as an extra leaf to Into Battle; “We will Never Cease to Strike” (9 Nov 40), “United States Cooperation” (9 Jan 41); and three speeches not in the English or first Canadian editions: “The War Situation” (19 Dec 40), “To the People of Italy” (23 Dec 40) and “Put Your Confidence in Us” (9 Feb 41). Interestingly, these last three are retitled by Putnam.
For its importance in establishing a further text, this is bibliographically a significant edition.
The American First had an enormous press run and is very common in the United States. A fine jacketed copy rarely commands a really high price. Lesser copies can be had for whatever one chooses to pay. Do not confuse this with the Book Club issue (below). The text is desirable, since it contains more entries than most other editions.
Book of the Month Club Issue
Cohen A142.4, / ICS A66b
Publisher: Book-of-the-Month Club, New York, 1941
Red buckram blocked gilt and blue. The top board bears a large Churchill Coat of Arms debossed blind at upper center between two gilt rules surmounting the widely spaced initials “W S C”; the spine bears the title (without commas) and CHURCHILL between two gilt-on-navy decorative bands and the name PUTNAM gilt at the bottom. Top page edges stained blue. 8vo, pagination as per the First American Edition. Dust jacket similar to American First but printed on uncoated light buff paper; front flap contains no price, and a more tightly leaded book blurb allows room at the bottom for the Book of the Month Club logo.
Variant binding: a few of these volumes are bound in a finely woven linen-like cloth instead of buckram.
A rare example of a book club edition bound more handsomely than its trade counterpart, this is truly handsome, especially in the linen-like cloth. It’s also cheap. The only pitfall is that many collectors mistake it for the First American Edition, which it patently is not.
Cohen A142.5 / Not in Woods or ICS
Publisher: Kelly & Walsh: Shanghai (undated )
Bound in red cloth, completely reset with distinct pagination. Dust jackets printed black on brown wrapping paper in three states: one reads AUTHORIZED CHINA EDITION at the top; the other is blank. We have not examined the third. Flaps and rear faces of jackets are blank; the front face carries title, author name between horizontal rules, and a blurb; the spine carries title, author and logo. This is more likely a legitimate than a pirated edition.
Publisher: Odhams & Co., Ltd., London, 1966
Entitled Churchill in His Own Words, this paperback was off-printed from the Putnam Blood, Sweat, and Tears. By eliminating separate title leaves and mingling the chronologies with the text, the work was reduced to 352 pages without abridgment: it contains all the speeches in the comprehensive First American Edition.
Publisher: Capricorn Books, New York, 1966
Entitled Churchill in His Own Words, this “Capricorn Giant” paperback was the American issue of the above, with identical contents, published at $1.95. It was subtitled “Years of Greatness | The memorable wartime speeches of the Man of the Century.”
This book was a companion to Capricorn’s Churchill in His Own Words: Years of Adventure, a reprint of Great Destiny (A Churchill Anthology in Britain) edited by F. W. Heath, which cleverly excerpted passages from My Early Life, the first four war books, My African Journey, World Crisis and Step by Step to knit a neat little autobiography. Great Destiny was jacketed uniformly with the 1941 Putnam Edition of Blood, Sweat, and Tears, published twenty-five years earlier.
Excerpted Work: THEIR FINEST HOUR
Cohen / Woods page 90
Publishers: Winnipeg Free Press, Regina Leader-Post, Saskatoon StarPhoenix, 1941
Bound in card wrappers printed black, green and either yellow, red or orange. 8vo., 80 pages numbered (1)-80 plus wrappers. Front wrappers carry a photograph of Churchill wearing a naval hard helmet and peering through binoculars. Contains twenty-one speeches from Into Battle, from “Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat (13 May 1940) to “The Passing of Neville Chamberlain” (12 November 1940). Published at 25¢.
Copyright conflicts caused withdrawal of what was to be a series after this first and only edition (marked “Vol. I”), produced with the imprint of three western Canada newspapers. Contrary to Woods, the booklets were individually published by each newspaper, not by the Winnipeg paper in conjunction with the other two. The booklets have quite an allure and command hefty prices today. $150/£90 is not atypical for the most common variety (Winnipeg Free Press, printed yellow-green-black). Premiums are often paid for the Regina or Saskatoon imprints, or copies printed in red or orange instead of yellow.
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Click here for a list of terminology, bibliographic information, and other notes.