Reviews - What do customers think about Speeches That Changed the World: The Stories and Transcripts of the Moments That Made History?
Historical Error Regarding Rosa Parks Jul 21, 2008
I have yet to read the whole book, so this review may be of limited use. However, there is a significant historical error in the text, so the scholarship of this book is questionable.
In the introduction to Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, this book says, "The event that is credited with starting King on his civil rights crusade occurred in 1955. Rosa Parks, a black seamstress, took a seat in the section of a Montgomery bus reserved for whites...."
In Mrs. Parks' autobiography "My Story," on the very first page, she writes "One evening in early December 1955 I was sitting in the front seat of the colored section of a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. The white people were sitting in the white section. More white people got on, and they filled up all the seats in the white section. When that happened, we black people were supposed to give up our seats to the whites. But I didn't move. The white driver said, 'Let me have those front seats.' I didn't get up. I was tired of giving in to white people."
A woman of Mrs. Parks' significance deserves to remembered, but she also deserves to be remembered accurately. This book does Mrs. Parks and history a serious disservice.
I hope to be pleasantly surprised by the quality of the scholarship in the rest of the book.
Speeches That Changed the World: The Stories and Transcripts of the Moments That Made History Jul 13, 2008
The book is in great condition; it appears as if it's never even been opened and read. Thanks!
Above average collection of speeches Feb 24, 2008
All in all if you are looking for a book of speeches, not necessarily in their entirety or with a great deal of background, then this is a good book. While I would not say that all of these are the "greatest" speeches, there is a good collection of speeches that impacted societies all across the world.
Important speeches, some great Apr 1, 2007
This book contains 48 speeches, or excerpts from speeches (mostly the latter). It starts with Moses (with the ten commandments, which is not actually a speech) and ends with George W. Bush. Each of the 48 sections contains a picture of the speaker (or representation for those for whom no likeness is known), a brief biography of the speaker and the context of the speech. Unfortunately, in most cases the complete speech is not provided, only excerpts are presented. The choice of the speeches appears to be their historical importance, not their quality. As such, many are interesting, but far from memorable. Some are, however, powerful, very moving and worth the price of the book. I place the examples of the speeches given by FDR, Churchill, JFK, Martin Luther King and Elie Wiesel to be is this latter category. In this regard, the "I have a Dream" speech given by Martin Luther King stands far above all the others, even when the others include the likes of Churchill and John F. Kennedy.
I only have two complaints (in addition to the fact that only excerpts are given from most of the speeches). Except for the last speech (that given by George W. Bush after 9/11) the author (when it was not the speaker) is not given. The second criticism stems from the fact that the book was prepared in Great Britain and there is a certain lack of knowledge of US history. The president to succeed Woodrow Wilson was Warren Harding, not Warren Hardy. All in all, this is mostly a history book, rather than one on rhetoric.