GREAT AMERICAN SPEECHES: 80 YEARS OF POLITICAL ORATORY, (Pieri & Spring Productions, $34.95).
The product of a two-year search through more than four hundred U.S. archives and film repositories, this two-volume video set presents the greatest political speeches by Americans ever recorded on film.Several of the orations have been edited to accommodate the four-hour videotape format, but many are shown in their entirety.Included are the oratorical efforts of Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), who although hit in the right side of his chest by a would-be assassin’s bullet during a 1912 campaign speech in Milwaukee, continued speaking for ninety minutes because, he said, “I have a message to deliver and I will deliver it as long as there is life in my body”; Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933) and Herbert Hoover (1874-1964), both of whom disliked public speaking so much that they stood gloomily and rigidly at their lecterns; Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), whose March 4, 1933, inaugural address–the first ever recorded on sound film–is still considered one of the finest ever presented; General Douglas MacArthur (1880-1964) bidding “farewell” to a joint session of Congress in 1951; and Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-68) delivering his moving “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., on August 28, 1963. The set can be ordered by calling 800-444-1000.
More Reviews from the February 1997 issue of American History:
GEORGE GERSHWIN REMEMBERED BUFFALO SOLDIERS WEST: BLACK SOLDIERS IN THE FRONTIER ARM MODERN MARVELS: THE TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILROAD CULTURAL CONTRIBUTIONS OF BLACK AMERICANS THE COLLISION OF THE ANDREA DORIA