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Lend Me Your Ears: Great Speeches in History…
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Lend Me Your Ears: Great Speeches in History (1992 original; edició 2004)

de William Safire (Editor)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
675427,864 (4.06)3
"Lend Me Your Ears collects, in one immensely rich compendium, some two hundred of history's outstanding instances of oratorical eloquence. They are selected, arranged, and introduced by William Safire, one of America's most influential political columnists, himself a former speechwriter and language scholar. From Demosthenes mounting an angry defense against his attackers in one of his immortal philippics, to Abraham Lincoln consecrating the memory of the Union dead at Gettysburg, to Winston Churchill rallying a beleaguered Britain with a promise of "blood, toil, sweat and tears," to Salman Rushdie unexpectedly electrifying an audience with his paean to the necessity of free speech - this anthology contains the finest examples of the art of speechmaking in human experience." "The book is arranged by theme and occasion: Memorials and Patriotic Speeches, War and Revolution Speeches, Tributes and Eulogies, Debates and Argumentation, Trial Speeches, Gallows and Farewell Speeches, Sermons, Inspirational Speeches, Lectures and Instructive Speeches, Speeches of Social Responsibility, Media Speeches, Political Speeches (in Safire's words, "the anthologist's mother's milk"), and Commencement Addresses. Each speech is expertly introduced by the editor, who places the speech's occasion in historical context and analyzes the particular techniques that give the speech its force and effect. William Safire enlivens many of these introductions with personal anecdotes of the circumstances of the speechmaker and the speech. His Introduction is a brisk, compact, effective short course in how to make a great speech - with a cornucopia of examples to follow." "No one faced with the need to go before an audience of any size to argue, persuade, uplift, introduce, memorialize, or amuse should be without Lend Me Your Ears. It serves equally as a work of permanent reference use and as a treasure-house for the browser in search of inspiration, instruction, and entertainment. In this anthology, editor and subject matter have met to result in a book that draws from the ages - and that will last for decades as the definitive word on human eloquence."--Jacket.… (més)
Membre:GDBONLINE
Títol:Lend Me Your Ears: Great Speeches in History
Autors:William Safire (Editor)
Informació:W. W. Norton & Company (2004), Edition: Updated and Expanded, 1168 pages
Col·leccions:5 Apr Books from Urdu Bazar
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Lend Me Your Ears: Great Speeches in History de William Safire (1992)

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I intend this review to be as brief as possible, exhausted as I am by reading this lengthy tome. Described by its compiler William Safire, himself a distinguished speechwriter, as "a doorstop-sized reference [book] for students of history and politics" (pg. 23), this is no exaggeration. In its 2004 edition, Lend Me Your Ears is comparable in length to some editions of Tolstoy's War and Peace. Never mind its utility in stopping a door; I imagine if thrown accurately this book could stop a rhino. However, whilst it is no doubt a daunting read it is also a rewarding one, for as Safire intimates on page 36, its physical weight is matched only by its intellectual weight.

Safire does his best to navigate the reader through his book, and introduces each speech with concise introductions which are invaluable in placing the orations in their correct historical context. Safire also demonstrates how speeches are structured, and why certain techniques are effective. Rather than just providing a mere depository of rhetoric, the anthologist encourages the reader to understand speechwriting as a craft, and his own background as a speechwriter lends weight to his words. He includes one or two of his own speeches (ghost-written for politicians, and one in his own voice) but this is not done out of vanity; they are worthy additions.

As to the selections on offer, one must point out that any anthology of this sort is going to be subjective. Most of the well-known speeches from history are on offer (likely culprits like Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King and Abraham Lincoln are well-represented), and if you are using the book as a reference work you'll probably find what you're looking for. There are also some nice hidden gems present; I particularly liked William Lyon Phelps' eulogy on book ownership (pp611-12) and J. Proctor Knott's magnificently entertaining satirical speech (pp901-9). The final chapter focuses on undelivered speeches, which are fascinating to contemplate. Though only containing three speeches - the speech JFK was due to deliver in Dallas before his assassination, President Clinton's scrapped apology for the Monica Lewinsky affair, and Richard Nixon's contingency speech in case the 1969 Moon landings failed (the latter drafted by Safire himself) - this section is the most intriguing. I wish the same could be said of the sizeable chapter on religious sermons; only one or two of these are worthy of the space afforded (the Sermon on the Mount and Red Jacket's plea), and this section is a bit of a slog.

One of the main drawbacks for myself was the lack of any speeches from literature. With the exception of William Shakespeare's 'lend me your ears' speech from Julius Caesar, which of course inspired the book's title - and which Safire tries to appropriate as belonging to the original Mark Antony even though he acknowledges its dubious historicity (pg. 177) - there are no fictional speeches on offer here. The book is poorer not just for the omission of obvious recommendations like Shakespeare's 'band of brothers' speech from Henry V but also the likes of Charlie Chaplin's speech from The Great Dictator. On a purely historical note, I found myself disappointed by the absence of (from off the top of my head): Mustafa Kemal Atatürk's tribute to the 'Johnnies and Mehmets' at Gallipoli, Tim Collins' eve-of-battle speech from Iraq in 2003, Thomas Rainsborough's contribution to the Putney Debates and even, surprisingly, Nelson Mandela.

Whilst comprehensive, Lend Me Your Ears is by no means definitive. But I am mindful of the fact that one cannot credibly bemoan the book's length and yet criticise some omissions that if included would have made it even longer. Yes, some speeches could have been added, and some discarded, but there are no omissions or additions of such glaring error as to render the book worthless. Unless one is willing to invest time in an exhaustive (and exhausting) multi-volume anthology, Safire's book is likely to be as good a book as one can get on great historical speeches. ( )
  MikeFutcher | Mar 28, 2017 |
A classic work made up of classic works: Aside from the great speeches ( two hundred of them ) that constitute this volume and are its heart, there is also the informative introductory commentary of William Safire. This commentary serves not only as guide to each particular speech, but in general terms as a kind of extended essay on the art of speechmaking. And Safire makes it clear throughout that he views speechmaking as an art.
The anthology contains the great standard political speeches, Pericles, Demosthenes, Burke , Lincoln . It contains elegies and tributes, sermons , speeches of social responsibility, media speeches, speeches which mark out landmark occaisions in history.
This is a classic work which is made up of classic works. And in it is a must- have work for anyone who wishes to understand and know the art of speechmaking.
  mugwump2 | Nov 29, 2008 |
My Favorite Speech Compendium

Hands Down!

This is my absolute favorite speeches collection. William Safire, the man who penned “nattering nabobs of negativism,” draws from the ages to illustrate the power of human eloquence

Our age is dominated by speeches that will never qualify for inclusion. This former speechwriter, current columnist and guardian of our language, selected, arranged and introduced 220 examples of history’s finest oratory. Arranged by theme and occasion, each speech is introduced by the editor, given historical perspective and analyzed for techniques that gave it force and staying-power.

This is the most valuable kind of book. Since I purchased it 20 years ago, I have spent hours savoring its content. My favorite speech in it remains Jack Kemp’s November 30, 1990 salute to Winston Churchill in which he skillfully and eloquently turns into an intense and unequivocal plea for an armed intervention in the Persian Gulf. It remains a superb example of an ideologue whom brings clarity and passion to dais.

No one who faces an audience and attempts to inspire, fortify, entertain, convince or memorialize should be without a copy of this wonderful book. ( )
  PointedPundit | Mar 28, 2008 |
A good complement to MacArthurs more Anglophile Penguin compilations. ( )
  jontseng | Jan 4, 2007 |
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Wikipedia en anglès (1)

"Lend Me Your Ears collects, in one immensely rich compendium, some two hundred of history's outstanding instances of oratorical eloquence. They are selected, arranged, and introduced by William Safire, one of America's most influential political columnists, himself a former speechwriter and language scholar. From Demosthenes mounting an angry defense against his attackers in one of his immortal philippics, to Abraham Lincoln consecrating the memory of the Union dead at Gettysburg, to Winston Churchill rallying a beleaguered Britain with a promise of "blood, toil, sweat and tears," to Salman Rushdie unexpectedly electrifying an audience with his paean to the necessity of free speech - this anthology contains the finest examples of the art of speechmaking in human experience." "The book is arranged by theme and occasion: Memorials and Patriotic Speeches, War and Revolution Speeches, Tributes and Eulogies, Debates and Argumentation, Trial Speeches, Gallows and Farewell Speeches, Sermons, Inspirational Speeches, Lectures and Instructive Speeches, Speeches of Social Responsibility, Media Speeches, Political Speeches (in Safire's words, "the anthologist's mother's milk"), and Commencement Addresses. Each speech is expertly introduced by the editor, who places the speech's occasion in historical context and analyzes the particular techniques that give the speech its force and effect. William Safire enlivens many of these introductions with personal anecdotes of the circumstances of the speechmaker and the speech. His Introduction is a brisk, compact, effective short course in how to make a great speech - with a cornucopia of examples to follow." "No one faced with the need to go before an audience of any size to argue, persuade, uplift, introduce, memorialize, or amuse should be without Lend Me Your Ears. It serves equally as a work of permanent reference use and as a treasure-house for the browser in search of inspiration, instruction, and entertainment. In this anthology, editor and subject matter have met to result in a book that draws from the ages - and that will last for decades as the definitive word on human eloquence."--Jacket.

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