-First American Edition Set in Dust Jackets-


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: 2210

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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 good First American edition set, all First Printings, five of the six books in the exceedingly rare dust jackets, all of which are as-issued, unprice-clipped.

VOLUME I (Book 1) jacket is a slightly later edition that contains reviews for this volume on the front face and reviews for Volume II on the rear face. There are inconsequential corner losses and some edge-chipping but the jacket is in remarkable condition overall. The book is in similarly very good condition, the cloth and gilt bright, though the gilt spine lettering has dulled, as per usual with this volume. The contents are fine and unfoxed.

VOLUME II (Book 2) is wrapped in a color photocopy of its original dust jacket. The book is the second binding variant of the First Printing, per Cohen (A69.1[II].b).] The spine lettering has faded a bit and the cloth is lightly scuffed. The contents are fine, with faint, scattered foxing to the prelims and the remains of a bookshop sticker on the rear pastedown, else fine.

VOLUME III: Parts 1 & 2 (Books 3 and 4) are in their correct original dust jackets, which are both bright and unusually fresh. There is a 2-inch fractional loss across the spine head of the jacket for Part 1 and a clipping of the lower front corner of the inner flap of Part 2, though the price has not been clipped; the printed price remains.

VOLUME IV: THE AFTERMATH (Book 5) dust jacket is lightly edge-chipped, with fractional losses at the spine head and the rear upper left corner. The jacket has darkened with age, more significantly along the spine, which also has a closed center tear and fractional loss at the head. The front and rear faces are bright. The book is fine and unfoxed, with a a former-owner’s name discreetly inked on the front free endpaper.

VOLUME V: THE UNKNOWN WAR (Book 6) dust jacket is in very good condition, if faintly sunned at the spine. The book is in similarly very good condition, bright and tight, with a hint of fraying to the cloth at the spine tail. The contents are fine and unfoxed.

Laid-into VOLUME I is a vintage mailer, dated 1923, from Machin’s Tailored Shirts of Los Angeles, addressed to “Mr. Geo S. Patton, San Gabriel, Cal.” General George S. Patton (Jr.) was born in San Gabriel, California and grew up there. His father was George S. Patton II, so it is more than likely that this volume, if not the entire set, belonged to the father and may well have been read by his son, a voracious student of military history at a young age.