The Art of Great Speeches: And Why We Remember Them

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Cambridge University Press, Feb 7, 2011 - Political Science
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What makes a great speech 'great'? The Art of Great Speeches uses insights from classical thinkers to reveal how great orators such as Barack Obama, Martin Luther King, the Kennedys, Al Gore and Hitler have persuaded their audiences so convincingly. Featuring excerpts of 70 of the world's greatest speeches in history and drama, this fascinating book breaks down the key elements of classical and modern oratory to reveal the rhetorical techniques that make them so memorable. It shows how master speechwriters connect with their audiences, seize a moment, project character, use facts convincingly and destroy their opponents' arguments as they try to force the hand of history or create memorable drama. Part history, part defence of oratory, part call for political inspiration, part professional handbook, The Art of Great Speeches does what no other book does - it explains why these speeches are great.
 

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User Review  - livrecache - LibraryThing

One of the most interesting books that I've had the pleasure to edit. Dennis's analysis of well-known speeches ranging from Cicero to Shakespeare, from politicians of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries to examples from TV shows makes rivetting reading. Read full review

Contents

To save a republic
8
Photographs
9
Invesco Field
22
Speech the essence of democracy
35
Pericles
41
Forum
60
Boris Yeltsin
66
Ronald Reagan
83
Sarah Palin
141
Character
154
Al Gore
171
Evidence
188
Morality
209
Adolf Hitler
213
Gettysburg
222
Speechwriter
228

Style
90
Tony Blair
97
Gough Whitlam
110
Emotion
124
Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch
128
Rob Lowe as Sam Seaborn in The West Wing
229
Common figures and terms
243
Index
252
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About the author (2011)

Dennis Glover is a professional speechwriter for some of Australia's most prominent political and business leaders and an academic historian of oratory. He is a graduate of Monash University and he took a PhD in History at Cambridge University. He has worked on the staff of three federal Labor Party leaders and written speeches for two prime ministers.

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