Lend Me Your Ears: Great Speeches in History

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9780393040050: Lend Me Your Ears: Great Speeches in History

An instant classic when first published in 1992 and now substantially revised and expanded, Lend Me Your Ears collects more than two hundred of history's outstanding instances of oratorical eloquence. They are selected, arranged, and introduced by William Safire, considered by many to be the most influential political columnist in America, himself a former speechwriter and language scholar. The book is arranged by theme and occasion, and each speech is expertly introduced by the editor, who places the speech's occasion in historical context and analyzes the particular techniques that convey its force and effect. William Safire enlivens many of these introductions with personal anecdotes of the circumstances of the speechmaker and the speech. His introduction is a brisk, effective short course in how to make a great speech - with a cornucopia of examples to follow.

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About the Author:

William Safire is perhaps the most widely read and influential political columnist in America. Every Sunday his popular "On Language" column appears in the New York Times Magazine. Safire lives in Washington, D.C. He is a member in good standing of the Judson Welliver Society of former White House speechwriters.

From Publishers Weekly:

The third edition of this comprehensive collection of oratory through the ages is appropriately edited by former presidential speechwriter Safire—a man who knows firsthand the importance of putting together the right words for the right moment. But many readers will no doubt skip his prefatory lesson in rhetoric and go right to the speeches themselves. The selections range widely through Western history, from Pericles’s funeral oration to fallen Greek soldiers in the Peloponnesian War, to Tony Blair "exhorting his party to fight terrorism." History has yet to pass judgment on the greatness of the most recent speeches included here, but Safire shows a broad-minded, bipartisan inclusiveness in collecting the words of Democrats and Republicans, conservatives and liberals, history’s losers (Sen. Robert Taft opposing war crimes trials after WWII) as well as its victors. And several of the speeches he includes deal with politics only indirectly: such as Louis Pasteur’s paean to scientific education, the Dalai Lama’s sermon on the "Philosophy of Compassion" and Salman Rushdie’s description of a life "Trapped inside a Metaphor." This is an invaluable reference for writers and speakers, students of history and those who simply appreciate great oratory.
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