The Defence of Freedom and Peace, Churchill's broadcast address to the American People about the Munich Agreement, a previously unknown edition, signed by Churchill and accompanied by his compliments slip on Chartwell stationery
Winston S. Churchill
Price: 18,000.00 USD
London: Printed by St. Clements Press Ltd, 1938. This remarkable discovery is a previously unknown publication of Churchill's 16 October 1938 Address to the American People about the Munich Agreement. No other contemporary stand-alone publication of this speech is known. This pamphlet is definitively contemporary, evidenced by accompanying Chartwell stationery printed: "19th November 1938 | With Mr. Churchill's compliments." Moreover, it is boldly signed by Churchill on the front cover. Of note, this pamphlet appears likely to have been printed from a late-stage version of Churchill's speech notes prior to delivery of the speech. On 30 September 1938, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain returned from Munich to announce that he had ceded Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland to Hitler in return for "peace in our time." Churchill had spent five years opposing both his party and prevailing public sentiment by vigorously advocating rearmament and collective security. Munich worsened relations between Churchill and Chamberlain. Churchill now used his personal platform to appeal directly to the American people with a strikingly blunt assault on the moral and strategic infirmity of the Munich agreement and a clarion call for preparedness. Less than a year later, in September 1939, Churchill returned to the Admiralty. He replaced Chamberlain as Prime Minister in May 1940. America did not formally enter the war until December 1941, but Churchill's relationship with America and her President, with its vital material support, enabled Britain to survive the interval. The pamphlet measures 11.25 x 8.75 inches in four-page folded leaflet format on heavy, watermarked laid paper. The front cover is a title page with text on pages 2-4, drop-head title at page 2, printer information on the lower right corner of the fourth and final page, and subject sub-headings in bold punctuating the text. The paper size and type are uncommon for a speech pamphlet of the time. A printer is noted on the lower right rear cover, but no publisher specified. The layout features paragraph breaks for nearly every sentence, more analogous to the famous 'psalm form' in which Churchill printed his speech notes, rather than to the more conventional, condensed paragraph format of published versions. Churchill often made revisions to his speeches until the final moments preceding delivery, including this specific speech. Courtesy of The Churchill Archives Centre, we have reviewed Churchill's original hand-corrected notes of this speech. Comparison of this pamphlet's text to Churchill's original speech notes reveal a number of hand-made emendations to the speech as delivered which are not incorporated into this printed pamphlet. We will detail these differences upon request. Among numerous small, substantive differences between the pamphlet and the speech as delivered and later published is inclusion of two notably blunt lines which the original speech notes show were added by hand by Churchill to the final draft: "Britain must arm. America must arm." Most significant among the changes to the version Churchill delivered on 16 October is the conclusion. A substantial five-sentence passage - essentially the "hard-sell" to the American people, beginning with the line "Far away, happily protected by the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, you, the people of the United States..." - appears as the final paragraph in the pamphlet but was relocated closer to the mid-point of the speech when delivered. While evidence supports a conclusion that the pamphlet was printed prior to delivery of the speech, the dated compliments slip definitively bounds the publication date. Condition is superb. We note no losses, tears, or appreciable wear or soiling. A hint of toning and a horizontal crease - ostensibly from when the speech was originally posted - are the only signs of age or handling. The compliments slip on Chartwell stationery is in identical condition, showing only a neat horizontal crease and mild age-toning. First edition, only printing.