THE SECOND WORLD WAR: Pirated First Abridged One-Volume Edition

-Probable Taiwanese Issue-


Pirated First English Abridged Edition

By: Winston S. Churchill

Not Given [Taiwan]

Biblio: (Cohen A240.17) (Woods A123ca)

16mo (1,033 pages)

Hardcover (with Dust Jacket) [Blue cloth]

Item Number: 212266


Collector's Guide

The Second World War, also known as Winston Churchill’s War Memoirs, won Churchill  the Nobel Prize for literature in 1953. Published in six volumes that appeared over six years, the books each came out first in the U.S. under the following titles: THE GATHERING STORM (Volume I/1948), THEIR FINEST HOUR (Volume II/1949), THE GRAND ALLIANCE (Volume III/1950), THE HINGE OF FATE (Volume IV/1950), CLOSING THE RING (Volume V/1951) and TRIUMPH AND TRAGEDY (Volume VI/1953).

The ensuing English editions, issued within months of the American, contained numerous corrections and even a few additional maps. The English edition is therefore considered more definitive, though today the American edition may be rarer. The set was simultaneously published by the Book-of-the-Month-Club in America, printed on the same presses as the first editions, and thus can easily be confused with them. An excellent one-volume abridgment was published in 1959; largely the work of Churchill’s research assistant, Denis Kelly, though Churchill did contribute an interesting epilogue covering the years 1945-1957.


A very good copy of a variant of the Pirated Edition of the First English Abridged edition as per the Cohen bibliography. The book and jacket generally conform to the Cohen description of a “Taiwanese issue photo-reproduced from the Cassell abridgement, with the page size reduced and all mention of the British publisher excised, except for the Cassell decorative devise that still appears on the title page.” The book trim-size here is even smaller and the dust jacket is even more crudely printed, though it still roughly reproduces the original. The cloth binding here is not green, as per Cohen, but blue, and there is also a red ribbon marker. The contents are fine.