Great Speeches - Words That Shaped The World

12 Feb 2011

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Book: Great Speeches
Author: Edward Humphreys
ISBN-13: 978-1848372924

I got this book as a birthday gift from a friend. I really don’t have a clue, how my friends know exactly what I want. Thanks a lot to all my lovely friends. I like listening to speeches by great men. When I was in Florida during the 2008 presidential campaign, I followed each and every speech by Barack Obama. He inspired me very much. I want to become the best orator and with my speech, I want to bring the best out of every human and spread love. There are many books available with similar titles, a collection of great speeches by great men. This is one among them and is a collection of 42 speeches in English, arranged in chronological order.

I would call any book as a good book, if it leaves an impact on you, if it changes your perception about something, if it stays in your memory for a long time if you feel bad that the book is over and if you want to read it again and again. Surprisingly this book does everything. I cannot contribute all to the author Edward Humphreys because he just collected all the speeches and put together in one single book. But, definitely my thanks to him for his effort.

This book includes speeches by the Kings, Queens, Pastors, Political Leaders, Red Indians, Black Women, Non-Political Leaders etc. Remember, every speech in this book is made for a specific purpose at a specific time in history for a specific set of people. If you read all the speeches, you can differentiate between the speeches that withstand time and the ones which do not. The speeches once considered as the best does not appear best to me. It looks very normal. So, what makes the difference?. What are the components of the speech that makes it withstand time?. Is it the emotional quotient?. Is it the plain simple facts delivered in a straightforward way?. Is it the eloquent usage of words?. Is it just the man behind the mike and his reputation?. Is it the power of the speaker that takes the reader back to history?. Or Is it because the reader can relate himself to the speech?. I do not know now. But I will definitely find out.

I do not know many people in this book. Glad to know them now. Let me give you a gist of the speeches in this book.

Elizabeth I - The Golden Speech.

This speech is considered one of the greatest of all English Monarch. I opened the book with lots of curiosity, but you know what?. I was disappointed. I expected a speech that shows power and authority, but it’s very humble and down to earth. Like a sermon from a pastor. Sucks!
But If you read Margaret Thatcher’s speech “The Lady’s Not For Turning”, you can feel the power, command, and authority in it.

James Wolfe - Speech Before The Battle Of The Plains Of Abraham.

The man who brought about the end of New France. “The impossibility of retreat makes no difference in the situation of men resolved to conquer or die; and believe me, friends, if your conquest is bought with the blood of your general, he would most cheerfully resign a life which he has long devoted to his country”. He died and won the battle. Very inspiring.

Patrick Henry - Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death

This man and his speech started the American Revolutionary War. “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be bought at the price of chains and slavery?. Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but for me, give me liberty, or give me death!”. Each and every line is inspiring.


The Shawnee Chief, challenging the Treaty of Fort Wayne in 1810. “Sell a Country! Why not sell the air, the clouds, and the Great Sea, as well as the earth?. Did not the Great Good Spirit make them all for the use of his children?”. Thoughtful speech from a Red Indian, which shows the ugly face of the origin of America.

Sojourner Truth - Ain’t I a woman?

This small speech by a former black slave at the two day Convention devoted to the rights of a woman is very emotional. Not any facts, Not any wisdom. Just the plain emotional venting of years of torture and slavery. But, one of the best!

Oops… The review is becoming very long. You guys read the rest by yourself. You will definitely enjoy. Curious to know my favorites from this book?. Here you go.

  1. Martin Luther King, Jr
  2. Nelson Mandela
  3. Barack Obama
  4. Tecumseh
  5. Pope John Paul II

So, grab the book and enjoy. Here are the links to buy them.

Please buy the book from your local bookstore.

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