The Penguin book of twentieth-century speeches

by Brian MacArthur (Editor)

Paperback, 1992




London, England ; New York : Viking, 1992.


"Some men speak and change the world. Sometimes for better, often for worse. As Hitler rallied the Germans for war, andtwenty years later - John Kennedy sounded the bugle for the new frontier, their visions, gilded and articulated by the power of their oratory, stirred men's hearts and summoned nations to action." "'History will absolve me, ' declared Fidel Castro. 'Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country, ' said Kennedy. 'I have a dream, ' announced Martin Luther King. 'It is an ideal for which I am prepared to die, ' said Nelson Mandela. Few who were born during the Second World War and who came of age in the sixties will ever forget Kennedy's rousing exhortations or the cries for justice from King and Castro. Their words gave form to dreams and hope to men and women." "There are those who claim that the age of oratory is over, that the ubiquitous 'soundbite' and our neglect of the classics and the Bible have destroyed it. Yet wherever misery and oppression exist, and while men and women uphold ideals, oratory still flourishes." "Now, in The Penguin Book of Twentieth-century Speeches, Brian MacArthur has collected the great speeches which shaped this century - from Theodore Roosevelt's call to the 'strenuous life' in 1899 to Lyndon Johnson's summons to the Great Society in 1964; from Lloyd George's 'People's Budget' of 1909 to Geoffrey Howe's thrusting of the dagger into Margaret Thatcher in 1990; from Roger Casement in the dock in 1914 to Salman Rushdie in the dock in 1991; from Emmeline Pankhurst to Betty Friedan; from Mahatma Gandhi to Jawaharlal Nehru; and from Lenin, Stalin and Trotsky to Khrushchev and Solzhenitsyn. There are presidents and prime ministers, soldiers and poets, dreamers and destroyers. The Penguin Book of Twentieth-century Speeches is the perfect source book for those engaged in making speeches themselves, for students and for anyone wishing to read precisely what was said during a half-remembered speech. Yet more than this, the book also offers an exhilarating reading experience: for it brings together the speeches which, in the words of Robert Kennedy, sent forth those 'ripples of hope' that inspired men and women around the world and throughout the century."--Jacket.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member jontseng
Gritty, heart-rending and occasionally uplifting. A reminder of why the last century has been called the Age of Extremes.
LibraryThing member encephalical
Disappointingly low number of speeches from outside the Anglosphere or Europe. Quite a few that seem to concern internecine squabbles in UK political parties.



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