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My Fellow Americans: The Most Important Speeches of America's Presidents, from George Washington to George W. Bush (Book & CD) Audio CD – September 1, 2003

5.0 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Don't know much about American history? This multimedia collection of the great words of American presidents is for you. While this guide covers the entire American presidency, it is understandably weighted heavily toward the last 75 years. The early speeches-Washington's inaugural words, Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, Woodrow Wilson's WWI speech-are read credibly by actors. But this valuable collection really picks up steam with FDR, when the presidents themselves do the speaking. (Most of the recent presidents, with the exception of Jimmy Carter, have more than one speech included.) There will be those who may wish other speeches were added, but it's hard to quibble with those included: John F. Kennedy's words during the Cuban missile crisis, Lyndon B. Johnson's speech upon assuming the presidency, Ronald Reagan's speech calling on Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall. With introductions given for each speech-former Clinton aide Stephanopoulos narrates the CDs-this collection is no less than a primer on U.S. history and the ways issues of government, race and democracy have been viewed during the past 225 years. And there are some surprising moments as well: Richard Nixon's speech to his staff explaining his resignation from the presidency after Watergate shows an emotional side of Nixon rarely seen by the public. 100 b&w illus.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Here is an excellent combination of print and CD: presidential speeches transcribed in the text and captured live on the accompanying pair of discs. Waldman, formerly director of speechwriting under Bill Clinton, selects what he feels are the 43 most important speeches by American presidents from Washington to Bush and supplies context-setting introductions to each of them. Predictably, the speeches of earlier presidents (Lincoln, Wilson, FDR) stand up better as prose, while the efforts of the post-television heads of state read like strings of sound bites. Listening to the CDs, which are introduced by George Stephanopoulus, showcases the personalities and their speaking styles (every president from Grover Cleveland onward is represented). Younger listeners will respond immediately to the magnetism of FDR and JFK, the oratorical stiffness of Nixon, the straight shooting of Teddy Roosevelt. And, of course, beyond the personalities, these 43 speeches encapsulate key moments in American history. Whether as curriculum support or nostalgia, this print-audio package belongs on library shelves. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks MediaFusion; Har/Com edition (September 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402200277
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402200274
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 1.2 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #541,043 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
The history of the United States comes alive in the words of its presidents.
There comes a dramatic time in the life of a person, party, organization or nation that cries for the uplift and release of a speech. Someone is called upon to articulate the pride, hope or grief of it all. The speaker becomes the center of attention and the world stops to listen.
That responsibility is often shouldered by our President. Great Presidents not only act as the country's head of state, but also the voice of its people. They help define who we are and what we experience. In my opinion, their speeches constitute one of the best expressions of the nation's mood.
This book presents 40 of the nation's greatest Presidential speeches. Former Clinton Speechwriter Michael Waldman, introduces them, anchors them in history and explains their impact.
Acknowledging that speeches are written for the ear, not the eye, this book contains two CD that allow you to hear many of these actual speeches. Some of the recordings are more than 100 years old. The voice of every President since Benjamin Harrison is included.
This book takes the reader on a fascinating journey through the nation's history guided by the words of our Presidents.
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Format: Audio CD
This book has a concept or format that is guaranteed to make American history come alive as never before. It's a reprint of the most significant speeches by all of America's presidents. In addition it is supplied with two CD's. These contain the actual voices of every president since Benjamin Harrison in 1889. It also includes comments by ex-presidents Ford, Carter and Clinton on the speeches that influenced them the most.

This book is a capsule of American history done in a way that brings it home faster and easier than any standard history textbook. It's a large format book and at 480 pages it can contain a lot of material and it does. It is a splendid book.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I actually heard Michael Waldman (the author) give a lecture regarding the genesis of this book. Mr. Waldman was President Clinton's chief speech writer for 5 years. When Mr. Waldman once asked an aide for a reference text on the most important presidential speeches in history, he was told that no such text exists. It is my understanding that this was the primary motivation for Mr. Waldman to write this book.

I thoroughly delight in reading the speeches that Mr. Waldman has selected. In particular, I am in agreement with Mr. Waldman regarding the centrality of Abraham Lincoln's speeches in American History. I have come to agree that the Gettysburg Address is "the most important speech" ever given by a president.

This is a book that I have read over and over again. It continually inspires and challenges my views of myself as an American. I highly recommend it to everyone.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fantastic book for anyone interested in the presidency or presidential trivia! I love the speeches of the past presidents and especially the CD's or you can hear them in their own voices. My daughter is crazy about this book!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Historic reviews of the leaders of the United States. It gives me assistance in my accuracy of events as I instruct classes the myriad of students I teach.
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