First American Edition Set

By: Winston S. Churchill

Charles Scribners Sons [New York]

Biblio: (Cohen A69.1) (Woods A31aa)

8vo (5 volumes in 6 books. 2500+ pages, with folding maps and plans.)

Hardcover (with Dust Jackets) [Dark reddish-brown cloth]

Item Number: 208141

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Collector's Guide

The World Crisis is Churchill’s highly subjective history of the First World War. Comprising five volumes (in six books) written over eight years, the initial titles were first published in the U.S. (by a matter of days), making the American edition the true first edition. Volume I (1911-1914) and Volume II (1915) were published in 1923. Volume III (1916-1918 ) was published in two parts in 1927 (hence the five/in six volumes ultimate format). Volume IV (The Aftermath 1918-1928) was published in 1929; and Volume V (The Unknown War/The Eastern Front) in 1931. A one-volume abridgment by the author was soon issued. Most subsequent re-issues have been incomplete, abridged, or otherwise condensed versions of the original text.


This is a very special First American edition set, all First Printings, in the exceedingly rare dust jackets, are as originally issued and unprice-clipped.

VOLUME I (Book 1) jacket is from a slightly later edition that matches the First Printing version on its front face but bears an advertisement on the rear face for THE AFTERMATH, which came out in 1929. The jacket is in exceptional condition, vivid and bright, with very light-edge-chipping and a fractional 1-inch square loss at the spine head. The book is square and tight and the cloth is fresh. Though the spine and gilt lettering have dulled a bit, it is much less than usual for this volume. The contents are fine and unfoxed.

VOLUME II (Book 2) is in the correct original dust jacket, which is in splendid condition but somewhat darkened with age, particularly along the spine. The book is beautiful, the binding tight, the cloth and gilt unfaded and bright, even along the fade-prone spine. The contents are fine, with faint, scattered foxing to the prelims only.

VOLUME III: Parts 1 & 2 (Books 3 and 4) are not only in their original dust jackets, which are crisp and clean, but in the publisher’s cardboard slipcase; almost never seen today. The repaired slipcase has a new top board and has been archivally reinforced but the printed faces are all intact and the books are spectacularly fresh, inside and out. The dust jackets are handsome but age-darkened, particularly along the spines. The books are bright and tight, inside and out, with very faint spotting just visible here and there in the cloth of Part 2 only.

VOLUME IV: THE AFTERMATH (Book 5) dust jacket is virtually mint, with a clip to the price that is not through-cut; the printed price remains. The book is similarly mint, inside and out, with a tiny vintage bookshop sticker on the lower corner of the front free endpaper.

VOLUME V: THE UNKNOWN WAR (Book 6) dust jacket is exceptionally bright and fresh, save for a fractional chip at the spine head wrapping around to the upper left corner of the front face. The book is virtually mint.

A set very rarely seen thus.