The definitive compendium of classic and modern oratory expanded―with a new preface on what makes a speech "great."An instant classic when it was first published a decade ago and now enriched by seventeen new speeches, Lend Me Your Ears contains more than two hundred outstanding moments of oratory. It is selected, arranged, and introduced by William Safire, who honed his skills as a presidential speechwriter. He is considered by many to be America's most influential political columnist and most elegant explicator of our language. Covering speeches from Demosthenes to George W. Bush, this latest edition includes the words of Cromwell to the "Rump Parliament," Orson Welles eulogizing Darryl F. Zanuck, General George Patton exhorting his troops before D-Day, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg speaking on Bush v. Gore. A new section incorporates speeches that were never delivered: what Kennedy was scheduled to say in Dallas; what Safire wrote for Nixon if the first moon landing met with disaster; and what Clinton originally planned to say after his grand jury testimony but swapped for a much fiercer speech.
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William Safire (1929―2009), a Pulitzer Prize-winner, was the long-time author of the "On Language" column in the New York Times Magazine.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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