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Great Speeches of 20th Century Box set

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Audio CD, Box set, September 24, 1991
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Editorial Reviews

Students and teachers of history, enthusiasts of speechmaking, and folks needing something different to spice up those mix tapes with will enjoy this inspired four-disc tour of a century. It's a bit heavy on events a baby boomer is most likely to be interested in, but there's nothing wrong with knowing one's audience. For the most part, these recordings make 20th-century history appear to be happening right now. It might sound clichéd, but it really is a thrill to hear history in the making: Woodrow Wilson lying to the American Indians, Gloria Steinem addressing the National Organization for Women, the launch of sputnik, Dr. King delivering the "I Have a Dream" speech with intense clarity and emotion, Kennedy delivering his infamous address to the nation after being sworn in, the very first recording ever made on an Edison phonograph, Nixon resigning in shame, Hitler hatefully ranting about Germanic expansionism, Malcolm X powerfully speaking on black power, Babe Ruth saying good-bye to baseball, and Neil Armstrong uttering those famous words as he first steps onto the moon. --Mike McGonigal

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. The Farmer And The Republican Party - William Howard Taft
  2. Address To The American Indians - President Woodrow Wilson
  3. Address To The Boys' Progressive League - Former President Theodore Roosevelt
  4. Inaugural Address - President Franklin D. Roosevelt
  5. Inaugural Address - President Franklin D. Roosevelt
  6. Election Eve Campaign Speech - Governer Thomas E. Dewey
  7. Inaugural Address - President Harry S. Truman
  8. 'Checkers' Speech - Senator Richard M. Nixon
  9. Presidential Campaign Address - Governer Adlai Stevenson
  10. Republican Convention Address - Dwight D. Eisenhower
  11. Presidential Debate - Senator John F. Kennedy And Vice-President Richard M. Nixon
  12. Presidential Campaign Address - Senator Barry Goldwater
  13. Address To The Nation - President Lyndon B. Johnson
  14. Presidential Campaign Address - Senator Robert F. Kennedy
  15. Inaugural Address - President Richard M. Nixon
  16. Resignation Address - Vice-President Spiro Agnew
  17. Resignation Address - President Richard M. Nixon
  18. Democratic Convention Acceptance Speech - Governor Jimmy Carter
  19. Inaugural Address - President Ronald Reagan
  20. Keynote Address For The Democratic Convention - Governor Mario Cuomo
  21. Address To The Democratic Convention - Reverend Jesse Jackson

Disc: 2

  1. First Recorded Promotional Message On The Edison - Len Spencer
  2. The German Peril - Former U.S. Ambassador To Germany James G. Watson
  3. Address From France - General 'J.J.' Black Pershing
  4. On Lindbergh's Return To The United States - President Calvin Coolidge And Charles Lindbergh
  5. Abdication Address - King Edward The VIII
  6. On His Return From The Munich Conference - Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain
  7. On The German Occupation Of Sudetenland In Czechoslovakia - Chancellor Adolf Hitler
  8. Declaration Of War With Germany - Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain
  9. First Radio Address As Prime Minister - Prime Minister Winston Churchill
  10. Declaration Of War Against Japan - President Franklin D. Roosevelt
  11. The First Atomic Bomb Attack On Japan - President Harry S. Truman
  12. Address To Congress - General Douglas MacArthur
  13. On The Fall Of Dien Bien Phu - Secretary Of State John Foster Dulles
  14. Announcement Of The Launching Of Sputnik - Radio Moscow
  15. The Cuban Missile Crisis - President John F. Kennedy
  16. Confrontation Over Russian Missiles In Cuba - U.S. Ambassador To The United Nations Adlai Stevenson
  17. On Signing Of The Bill Of Rights - President Lyndon B. Johnson
  18. Eulogy For Robert F. Kennedy - Senator Edward Kennedy
  19. The End Of Vietnam War - President Richard M. Nixon
  20. On Commencement Of The Bombing Of Iraq - President George Bush

Disc: 3

  1. The Ideal Republic - William Jennings Bryan
  2. On The Future Of Women In Flying - Amelia Earhart
  3. Farewell To Baseball - Lou Gehrig
  4. Address To The Nation On The R.A.F. - Prime Minister Winston Churchill
  5. Greetings To The Children Of England - Princess Elizabeth And Princess Margaret
  6. Farewell To Baseball - Babe Ruth
  7. Address To Congress - Casey Stengel
  8. Farewell Address - President Dwight D. Eisenhower
  9. Inaugural Address - President John F. Kennedy
  10. The First American In Earth Orbit - Lt. Col. John Glenn
  11. Address To The Civil Rights Marchers In Washington, D.C. - Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
  12. Christmas Greeting From Space - Astronaut Frank Borman
  13. The Moon Landing - Astronaut Neil Armstrong
  14. Address To Congress - Hank Aaron
  15. Address To The Nation On The Berlin Wall - President Ronald Reagan

Disc: 4

  1. Address On U.S. Neutrality - Charles Lindbergh
  2. Address To The Chicago Irish Fellowship Club - Senator Joseph McCarthy
  3. The Kitchen Debate - Vice-President Nixon And Premier Nikita Khrushchev
  4. Farewell To Fans (The Payola Scandal) - Alan Freed
  5. Concession Speech - Richard M. Nixon
  6. On Black Power - Malcolm X
  7. Address To The Yippie Convention - Jerry Rubin
  8. Press Conference On Riots At The Democratic Convention - Mayor Richard Daley
  9. Address On Vietnam War Protests - Vice President Spiro Agnew
  10. Address To The Women Of America - Gloria Steinem
  11. On Releasing The Watergate Tapes - President Richard M. Nixon
  12. Testimony At The Iran-Contra Hearings - Lt. Col. Oliver North

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 24, 1991)
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Rhino
  • ASIN: B0000032HG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,578 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Rob Lincoln on September 16, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This 1991 box set, put together a bit after the Persian Gulf War is an important document of American History. All in all, Great Speeches of the 20th Century is a good collection that could have been even better. It in fact includes many of the great speeches of the 20th Century. It begins with the 27th president, William Howard Taft, and includes all of the 20th century presidents up until 1991 with the exception of McKinley, Harding, Hoover and Ford. But the presidential speeches are not the highlights of this collection. Dr. King's "I Have A Dream Speech" rightly stands out as the finest oration on the entire 4 disc set. However, his final speech given in Memphis the night before he was murdered, including the immortal words "I Have Been To The Mountaintop," is nowhere to be found. That is an unfortunate omission. A more substantial offering from Malcolm X, besides his one minute comment on Black Power, would have also improved this set. My biggest criticism though is not with the selection, but with the editing and liner notes. Some of the edits massacre the speeches-the worst is hearing the few second snippet of Gehrig's fairwell spreech to baseball. On the other hand, a number of key speeches are given in their entirety and they are really powerful-the brilliant and insightful Eisenhower farewell speech should be heard by every American in its entirety at least once- it is still highly relevent today. My beef with the liner notes is that they give short shrift to certain speeches that are really extraordinary. It doesn't even mention the context in which RFK delivers what stands out as perhaps the greatest off the cuff speech in American History. Hearing it and knowing the emotional context is almost worth the price of the 4 cd set itself.Read more ›
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By B. R. Benson on May 14, 2004
Format: Audio CD
This is a must for any US History teacher. It's one thing to read a landmark speech, quite another to hear it as you read along. Studying history is much more interesting when students can "touch" "hear" "see" it. To have the actual voice putting inflection and feeling to the words makes it more memorable. Students today are so visual that merely listening to the speech is ineffective. (trust me, they will fall asleep.) Hand out a printed copy of the speech for them to read along with and highlight key points. It's also helpful when students are taking the AP US History exam to be able to quote speeches in their DBQs.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mark Adams on January 26, 2003
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
As a teacher this set is invaluable. The recordings are well-chosen and nicely mastered. It's a good survey of 20th century audio recordings.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kathy A. Honeycutt on March 24, 2007
Format: Audio CD
It was what I needed for my high school public speaking class. The students are able to listen to great speeches. This way they had a reference to what makes an excellent speech.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Discs were unscratched, worked fine. However, the box was not only a bit worn at corners and had minor scratches, but it had a decent 1.5 inch tear on one side of it as well. Some CD cases were scratched and one had a long crack across the front of it. The audio material itself was unharmed, and is a delight to listen to.
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