"A DETAILED ACCOUNT, FULLER THAN ANY PREVIOUSLY WRITTEN": FIRST EDITION OF FIGHTER, LEN DEIGHTON'S HISTORY OF THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN, INSCRIBED IN THE MONTH OF PUBLICATION BY DEIGHTON
(WORLD WAR II) DEIGHTON, Len. Fighter. The True Story of the Battle of Britain. London: Jonathan Cape, 1977. Octavo, original navy paper boards, original dust jacket. $800.
First edition of Deighton's "brilliant" first major non-fiction work, inscribed on the title page in the month of publication by him, "To J— with all my best wishes and thanks, Len Deighton Sept. 1977."
"The Battle of Britain in the summer of 1940 was a milestone in WWII: the first real setback for Hitler's Germany… a battle that pitted the Royal Air Force against the Luftwaffe, and history's first important combat fought and won exclusively in the air. Because the future of Britain hung on the outcome, the battle has spawned many myths and legends… Len Deighton, in this readable, iconoclastic and thorough diagnosis of the battle, has de-emphasized or demolished many of the myths and legends. Fighter is the best, most dispassionate story of the battle" (New York Times). In his introduction to the book, the preeminent British historian A.J.P. Taylor praises Deighton's "brilliant analysis," noting Fighter provides "a detailed account, fuller than any previously written… Indeed, in one way or another, he explains everything that happened." First edition, first issue: published "15 September, 1977" (Milward-Oliver, 54). With over 35 full- and double-page illustrations, along with many color-outlined in-text maps and illustrations. First-issue dust jacket with £4.95 on front flap; color image of Paul Nash's painting, "Under the Cliff," on front panel.
A fine copy.