The World Crisis [One-Volume Edition, 1914-1918]

New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1949. Later printing. Hardcover. xii, 866 pages. One-volume edition, footnotes, maps (some fold-out, color), charts, tables, appendices, index. Embossed stamp on title-page. Slightly cocked. Cover has some wear and soiling. Some discoloration inside front and rear hinges, some scuffing to boards, slight darkening to text. This book is based on Winston Churchill's experiences as First Lord of the Admiralty during World War I. Churchill originally published his history of World War I in four volumes; this book is a continuous narrative in one volume. The World Crisis is Winston Churchill's account of World War I, originally published in five volumes (usually mistaken for six volumes, as Volume III was published in two parts). Published between 1923 and 1931, in many respects, it prefigures his better-known multivolume The Second World War. The World Crisis is analytical and, in some parts, a justification by Churchill of his role in the war. Churchill is reputed to have said about this work that it was "not history, but a contribution to history".

His American biographer William Manchester wrote: "His masterpiece is The World Crisis, published over a period of several years, 1923 to 1931, a multi-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". The page total is 2517 pages without the Eastern Front volume. The British historian Robert Rhodes James writes: "For all its pitfalls as history, The World Crisis must surely stand as Churchill’s masterpiece. After it, anything must appear as anticlimax".

The news he was writing about the war was all over London; he chose The Times for the serial rights rather than the magazine Metropolitan, and with advances from his English and American publishers, he told a guest in 1921 that it was exhilarating to write for half a crown a word (a pound for eight words). The title was settled as The World Crisis rather than Sea Power and the World Crisis. Dawson of The Times had suggested The Great Amphibian. The question of copyright and of quoting confidential government documents was raised by Andrew Bonar Law, but other authors like Fisher, Jellicoe and Kitchener had done so.

Successive volumes were published from 1923 to 1931 by Thornton Butterworth in England and Scribner’s in America. The first (American) advances enabled him to purchase a new Rolls-Royce in August 1921. In 1922, he had purchased "Chartwell", a large house requiring expensive repairs and rebuilding. He justified his position and actions such as on the Dardanelles Campaign. The reception was generally good. Arthur Balfour said he was reading Churchill’s "autobiography disguised as a history of the universe"
Condition: fair to good.

Keywords: WW1, Great Britain, Germany, U-Boats, Sir Douglas Haig, Verdun, Jutland, General Nivelle, Balkans, Beatty, Dardanelles, Lloyd George, Kitchener, Jellicoe, Henry Wilson, Somme

[Book #56985]

Price: $150.00

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