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American Political Speeches

Terry Golway - Editor

Terry Golway - Introduction by

Richard Beeman - Editor

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ISBN 9780143121954 | 208 pages | 28 Aug 2012 | Penguin | 8.26 x 5.23in | 18 - AND UP
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In time for the upcoming election season, Penguin presents a series of six portable, accessible, and—above all—essential reads from American political history, selected by leading scholars. Series editor Richard Beeman, author of The Penguin Guide to the U.S. Constitution, draws together the great texts of American civic life, including the founding documents, pivotal historical speeches, and important Supreme Court decisions, to create a timely and informative mini-library of perennially vital issues.

American Political Speeches includes the best American rhetoric from inside and outside the White House. Some of the greatest words spoken in American history have come from men and women who lacked the biggest bully pulpit in the country, but who nevertheless were able to move the nation with words. Frederick Douglass explained the irony of Independence Day from the perspective of a slave. Martin Luther King, Jr. described his dream of an interracial America. William Jennings Bryan gave voice to social discontent with a single phrase, "a cross of gold." Barbara Jordan summoned the nation"s outrage during the impeachment hearings against Richard Nixon. And the best presidents, not by coincidence, have tended to be those with an appreciation for the use of language: Lincoln explaining a new birth of freedom at Gettysburg; John Kennedy voicing moral outrage at the Berlin Wall; Franklin D. Roosevelt chatting to a nation gathered in front of radios; Ronald Reagan addressing Congress freshly healed from an assassination attempt.


SERIES INTRODUCTION by Richard Beeman

INTRODUCTION by Terry Golway

A Note on the Text


AMERICAN POLITICAL SPEECHES

CHAPTER 1. “City Upon a Hill”
JOHN WINTHROP

CHAPTER 2. “Give Me Liberty, or Give Me Death”
PATRICK HENRY

CHAPTER 3. “Steer Clear of Permanent Alliances”
GEORGE WASHINGTON

CHAPTER 4. “We Are All Republicans; We Are All Federalists”
THOMAS JEFFERSON

CHAPTER 5. “Liberty and Union, Now and Forever”
DANIEL WEBSTER

CHAPTER 6. “The Hypocrisy of the Nation Must Be Exposed”
FREDERICK DOUGLASS

CHAPTER 7. “The Mystic Chords of Memory”
ABRAHAM LINCOLN

CHAPTER 8. “A New Birth of Freedom”
ABRAHAM LINCOLN

CHAPTER 9. “Malice Towards None”
ABRAHAM LINCOLN

CHAPTER 10. “A Cross of Gold”
WILLIAM JENNINGS BRYAN

CHAPTER 11. “Corporations… Should Be Regulated”
THEODORE ROOSEVELT

CHAPTER 12. “The Man with the Muck Rake
THEODORE ROOSEVELT

CHAPTER 13. “The Woman’s Hour Has Struck”
CARRIE CHAPMAN CATT

CHAPTER 14. “The Most Important Question in This Country Today”
ROBERT LA FOLLETTE

CHAPTER 15. “The Culminating and Final War for Human Liberty”
WOODROW WILSON

CHAPTER 16. “Nothing to Fear but Fear Itself”
FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT

CHAPTER 17. “Every Man a King”
HUEY LONG

CHAPTER 18. “A Third of the Nation”
FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT

CHAPTER 19. “Four Essential Human Freedoms”
FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT

CHAPTER 20. “A Date Which Will Live in Infamy” FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT

CHAPTER 21. “Every Nation Must Choose”
HARRY TRUMAN

CHAPTER 22. “I Speak as an American”
MARGARET CHASE SMITH

CHAPTER 23. “The Military-Industrial Complex”
DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER

CHAPTER 24. “Ask Not What Your Country Can Do for You”

JOHN F. KENNEDY

CHAPTER 25. “The Pursuit of Disarmament”
JOHN F. KENNEDY

CHAPTER 26. “A Moral Issue”
JOHN F. KENNEDY

CHAPTER 27. “Ich bin ein Berliner”
JOHN F. KENNEDY

CHAPTER 28. “I Have a Dream”
MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.

CHAPTER 29. “We Shall Overcome
LYNDON B. JOHNSON

CHAPTER 30. “The Great Silent Majority”
RICHARD NIXON

CHAPTER 31. “I Have Finally Been Included”
BARBARA JORDAN

CHAPTER 32. “I Have Never Been a Quitter”
RICHARD NIXON

CHAPTER 33. “A Crisis Confidence”
JIMMY CARTER

CHAPTER 34. “Government is the Problem”
RONALD REAGAN

CHAPTER 35. “The Aggressive Impulses of an Evil Empire”
RONALD REAGAN

CHAPTER 36. “Tear Down This Wall”
RONALD REAGAN

CHAPTER 37. “Make Our People Whole Again”
BILL CLINTON

CHAPTER 38. “If Women Are Healthy and Educated”
HILLARY CLINTON

CHAPTER 39. “We Shall Not Falter”
GEORGE W. BUSH

CHAPTER 40. “Let Us Brave Once More the Icy Currents”
BARACK OBAMA


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