The Penguin Book of Historical Speeches

The Penguin Book of Historical Speeches

Product ID: 6545

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Author: Brian MacArther
Publisher: Penguin
Year: 1996
Language: English
Pages: 504
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0140176195


This selection brings together the words of over a hundred men and women - from Moses to Mandela - who helped to change the world through the sheer power of their oratory.

In 1969 Betty Friedan proclaimed in an impassioned speech on women's rights, 'Today, we moved history forward'. Gladstone and Israeli, and Pitt and Fox before them, forged the politics of their age through ferocious verbal combat in the House of Commons. Abraham Lincoln transformed for ever the way American interprets the Civil War and their national destiny. A legacy of turmoil in Ireland; the revolutionary rhetoric of eighteenth-century France; and this century's catalogue of conflict are all represented in this definitive and incisive collection.


Macarthur's earlier selections, up to the late nineteenth century, are impeccable. He prefaces each address with a short but scholarly historical explanation that sets the scene perfectly. An attractive volume with a splendidly pity introduction. - Andrew Roberts in The Sunday Times

By reading consecutively the extracts from American actors in the history of the USA, the reader gets a most exhilarating glimpse beneath the surface of the successive dramas which made up American history. - J Enoch Powel in the Daily Telegraph

Macarthur wisely concentrates on certain political conflicts - gathering together the oratory of the American Civil War or the campaign for female suffrage. His book works well not just as an anthology but as a history of those episodes. - Ben Rogers in the Independent on Sunday


BRIAN MacARTHUR is Associate editor of The Times. He was founder editor of Today and The Times Higher Education Supplement. He has been interested in the power of oratory since first hearing Aneurin Bevan on the hustings in 1956 and has edited a companion anthology, The Penguin Book of Twentieth-Century Speeches.