American Heritage Book of Great American Speeches for Young People

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Overview

The history of the United States has been characterized by fervent idealism, intense struggle, and radical change. And for every critical, defining moment in American history, there were those whose impassioned voices rang out, clear and true, and whose words compelled the minds and hearts of all who heard them. When Patrick Henry declared, "Give me liberty, or give me death!", when Martin Luther King Jr. said, "I have a dream", Americans listened and were profoundly affected. These speeches stand today as ...

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Overview

The history of the United States has been characterized by fervent idealism, intense struggle, and radical change. And for every critical, defining moment in American history, there were those whose impassioned voices rang out, clear and true, and whose words compelled the minds and hearts of all who heard them. When Patrick Henry declared, "Give me liberty, or give me death!", when Martin Luther King Jr. said, "I have a dream", Americans listened and were profoundly affected. These speeches stand today as testaments to this great nation made up of individuals with bold ideas and unshakeable convictions.

The American Heritage Book of Great American Speeches for Young People includes over 100 speeches by founding fathers, patriots, Native American and African American leaders, abolitionists, women's suffrage and labor activists, writers, athletes, and others from all walks of life, featuring inspiring and unforgettable speeches by such notable speakers as:

Patrick Henry
• Thomas Jefferson
• Tecumseh
• Frederick Douglass
• Sojourner Truth
• Abraham Lincoln
• Susan B. Anthony
• Mother Jones
• Lou Gehrig
• Franklin D. Roosevelt
• Albert Einstein
• Pearl S. Buck
• Langston Hughes
• John F. Kennedy
• Martin Luther King Jr.

These are the voices that shaped our history. They are powerful, moving, and, above all else, uniquely American.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
How many of you remember the agony of having to memorize theGettysburg Address in school? Or perhaps it was something by one ofthe founding father? "Who needs this stuff?" you would moan."What's the point?"
The major problem with historic orations, students have alwayscomplained, is that they are dry. American Heritage, one of theforemost magazine about this nation's culture, has collected aneclectic set of speeches given not only by politicians, but also bypeople in many walks of life, from sports figures to "ordinary"people in extraordinary circumstances.
The Book of Great American Speeches for Young People contains over100 discourses on a myriad of topics. Some classics can be foundwithin, such as Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream andFranklin Delano Roosevelt's address after the bombing of PearlHarbor on December 7, 1941, "a date which will live in infamy." Ona lighter political note, there's the "Checker's Speech," in whichRichard Nixon swore that the only gift he received during 1952campaign was a little cocker spaniel and that "we're gonna keephim."
Other orators in The Book of Great American Speeches for YoungPeople include Malcolm X, Langston Hughes, John F. Kennedy,Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Mark Twain, just to name a few. Speechesare used to influence and encourage, so there are several"declamations" which consider the struggles for women's suffrage,civil right and the evils of slavery. And since the nation wasfounded on free speech, there are also numerous discourses ofprotest and dissent.
The less earthshaking fare, though no less dramatic, is also here.Lou Gehrig paid an emotional farewell to baseball, in which, thoughstricken with the terminal illness that would one day bear hisname, he considered himself "the luckiest man on the face of theearth."
One of the more poignant speeches, to which young readers willrelate, was given by 10-year old Samantha Smith in 1983 to theChildren's Symposium on the Year 2001, after her impassioned letterto Soviet Premier Yuri Adropov made world news. The letter statedher fears nuclear war between his country and American, provingthat young people can make that difference.
In addition to its generous collection, The Book of Great AmericanSpeeches for Young People encourages readers to speak out for whatthey believe in. Its concluding chapter on how (and why) to make aneffective speech will give the reader a boost of confidence and askill which will prove useful long after school days are over.(BookPage, October 2001)

Gr7 Up—A useful compendium of more than 100 speeches that spannearly 400 years of American history, from Powhatan (1609) toSenator Charles Robb (2000). Prominent orators include PatrickHenry, Thomas Jefferson, John Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Martin LutherKing Jr., and Malcolm X. Two indexes allow readers to find aselection by its speaker or its theme. Black-and-white photos andreproductions accompany many of the entries. Alongside the FoundingFathers and patriots are athletes, authors, and media celebrities.The speeches inform readers and provide examples of how the spokenword has affected Americans throughout our past. —David M.Alperstein, Queens Borough Public Library, NY (School LibraryJournal, December 2001)

Children's Literature
Over the years, a select group of speeches or orations by a variety of Americans have stood the test of time and retained their power. Some of the more obvious ones are Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and Douglas MacArthur's farewell to Congress. Yet, there are grand words included in sources less familiar than these two examples that are worthy of recall. In this comprehensive source of great American speeches, many different types of addresses are included. For example, themes such as labor history, the civil rights movement and social activism are represented by specific speeches. The words of Native Americans include those of Chiefs Joseph and Seattle. Presidential commentaries by Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan and others provide a cross section of executive opinions. All in all, readers will find that perusing these pages allows them to revisit some of the critical moments in American history through the words of its players. This is a valuable quick reference book and will be enjoyed by students of history. 2001, John Wiley & Sons, $14.95. Ages 12 up. Reviewer: Greg M. Romaneck
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-A useful compendium of more than 100 speeches that span nearly 400 years of American history, from Powhatan (1609) to Senator Charles Robb (2000). Prominent orators include Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, John Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X. Two indexes allow readers to find a selection by its speaker or its theme. Black-and-white photos and reproductions accompany many of the entries. Alongside the Founding Fathers and patriots are athletes, authors, and media celebrities. The speeches inform readers and provide examples of how the spoken word has affected Americans throughout our past.-David M. Alperstein, Queens Borough Public Library, NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471389422
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 8/28/2001
  • Series: American Heritage Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 308
  • Sales rank: 791,774
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.04 (w) x 9.11 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Meet the Author

American Heritage is well known for its magazine on Americanhistory, as well as many highly acclaimed books, including theAmerican Heritage History of the United States and the AmericanHeritage Illustrated History of the Presidents.
SUZANNE McINTIRE has been collecting great speeches for many years.She is a freelance writer and the mother of two.

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Read an Excerpt


Powhatan, Chief of the Powhatan Confederacy
To Captain John Smith
Jamestown, Virginia
1609

The first colonists in Jamestown, Virginia, arrived from England in 1607. Building homes and finding food in the New World was difficult, and those who survived the first winters owed their lives to the help they received from the many tribes of the Powhatan Confederacy. However, the settlers took lands for their own use that the Indians considered theirs, and disputes arose over the trading of food and weapons. Chief Wahunsonacock ( called Powhatan by the colonists) , the father of Pocahontas, warned Captain John Smith against abusing the Indians friendship.

I am now grown old, and must soon die; and the succession must descend, in order, to my brothers, Opitchapan, Opekankanough, and Catataugh, and then to my two sisters, and their two daughters. I wish their experience was equal to mine; and that your love to us might not be less than ours to you.

Why should you take by force that from us which you can have by love? Why should you destroy us, who have provided you with food? What can you get by war? We can hide our provisions, and fly into the woods; and then you must consequently famish by wronging your friends. What is the cause of your jealousy? You see us unarmed, and willing to supply your wants, if you will come in a friendly manner, and not with swords and guns, as to invade an enemy.

I am not so simple, as not to know it is better to eat good meat, lie well, and sleep quietly with my women and children; to laugh and be merry with the English; and, being their friend, to have copper, hatchets, and whatever else I want, than to fly from all, to lie cold in the woods, feed upon acorns, roots, and such trash, and to be so hunted, that I cannot rest, eat, or sleep. In such circumstances, my men must watch, and if a twig should but break, all would cry out, Here comes Captain Smith ; and so, in this miserable manner, to end my miserable life; and, Captain Smith, this might be soon your fate too, through your rashness and unadvisedness.

I, therefore, exhort you to peaceable councils; and, above all, I insist that the guns and swords, the cause of all our jealousy and uneasiness, be removed and sent away.

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Table of Contents

Introduction.

Powhatan, Chief of the Powhatan Confederacy (1609): To CaptainJohn Smith.

Big Mouth, Onondaga Chief (1684): To De la Barre, Governor ofCanada.

Andrew Hamilton (1735): In Defense of John Peter Zenger and theFreedom of the Press.

Canasatego, Onondaga Chief (1744): "We Will Make Men ofThem".

John Hancock (1774): On the Fourth Anniversary of the BostonMassacre.

Logan, Mingo Chief (1774): To Lord Dunmore.

Patrick Henry (1775): "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death".

Solomon, Stockbridge Chief (1775): "We Have Ever Been TrueFriends".

Samuel Adams (1776): To the Continental Congress.

Benjamin Franklin (1787): To the Constitutional Convention.

Jonathan Smith (1788): To the Massachusetts Convention.

George Washington (1796): "Observe Good Faith and Justicetowards All Nations".

Thomas Jefferson (1801): First Inaugural Address.

Red Jacket, Seneca Chief (1805): "We Never Quarrel aboutReligion".

Tecumseh, Shawnee Chief (1811): "Sleep Not Longer, O Choctawsand Chickasaws".

Pushmataha, Choctaw Chief (1824): Welcome to Lafayette.

Daniel Webster (1825): Bunker Hill Oration.

Black Hawk, Sauk Chief (1832): "Farewell to Black Hawk".

Sam Houston (1836): "Remember the Alamo!"

Elijah Lovejoy (1837): In Defense of a Free Press.

Angelina Grimke (1838): "What Has the North to Do withSlavery?"

Henry Highland Garnet (1843): The Call to Rebellion.

Lewis Richardson (1846): "My Grave Shall Be Made in FreeSoil".

Thomas Corwin (1847): Against War with Mexico.

Frederick Douglass (1847): "If I Had a Country, I Should Be aPatriot".

Henry Clay (1850): A Call for a Measure of Compromise.

Sojourner Truth (1851): "If You Have Woman's Rights, Give Themto Her".

Frederick Douglass (1852): "What to the American Slave Is YourFourth of July?"

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1854): On the Fugitive Slave Law.

Seattle, Duwamish Chief (1854): "We Will Dwell Apart and inPeace".

Lucy Stone (1855): "A Disappointed Woman".

Abraham Lincoln (1858): "A House Divided".

Stephen Douglas (1858): Sixth Lincoln-Douglas Debate.

John Brown (1859): To the Court after Sentencing.

William Lloyd Garrison (1859): On the Death of John Brown.

Jefferson Davis (1861): Farewell to the Senate.

Abraham Lincoln (1863): The Gettysburg Address.

Abraham Lincoln (1865): "With Malice toward None, with Charityfor All".

Henry M. Turner (1868): "I Hold That I Am a Member of ThisBody".

George Graham Vest (1870): Eulogy on the Dog.

Cochise, Chiricahua Apache Chief (1872): We Will Remain at Peacewith Your People Forever".

Susan B. Anthony (1873): "Are Women Persons?"

Chief Joseph, Nez Perce (1877): "I Will Fight No MoreForever"

Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1892): "The Solitude of Self".

William Jennings Bryan (1896): "A Cross of Gold".

Russell Conwell (late 1890s): "Acres of Diamonds".

Harry Gladstone (1898): To the Machine Tenders Union.

Mother Jones (1901): To the United Mine Workers of America.

Florence Kelley (1905): "Freeing the Children from Toil".

Mark Twain (1906): "In Behalf of Simplified Spelling".

Theodore Roosevelt (1910): Citizenship in a Republic.

Rose Schneiderman (1911): On the Triangle Shirtwaist CompanyFire.

John Jay Chapman (1912): The Coatesville Address.

Stephen S. Wise (1914): Tribute to Lincoln.

Woodrow Wilson (1915): "An Oath of Allegiance to a GreatIdeal".

Anna Howard Shaw (1915): The Fundamental Principle of aRepublic.

Woodrow Wilson (1917): "The World Must Be Made Safe forDemocracy".

Emma Goldman (1917): "First Make Democracy Safe in America".

Eugene V. Debs (1918): "While There Is a Lower Class, I Am inIt".

Clarence Darrow (1924): In Defense of Leopold and Loeb.

Alfred E. Smith (1928): "Anything Un-American Cannot Live in theSunlight".

Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933): "The Only Thing We Have to Fear IsFear Itself".

Lou Gehrig (1939): "The Luckiest Man on the Face of theEarth".

Harold Ickes (1941): "What Constitutes an American?"

Franklin D. Roosevelt (1941): "A Date Which Will Live inInfamy".

Learned Hand (1944): "The Spirit of Liberty".

Dwight D. Eisenhower (1944): "The Eyes of the World Are uponYou".

Franklin D. Roosevelt (1944): The Fala Address.

Douglas MacArthur (1944): "People of the Philippines: I HaveReturned".

Roland Gittelsohn (1947): Eulogy at the Marine CorpsCemetery.

Albert Einstein (1947): To the United Nations.

Margaret Chase Smith (1950): "The Four Horsemen of Calumny".

William Faulkner (1950): "I Decline to Accept the End ofMan".

Pearl Buck (1951): Forbidden to Speak at Cardozo High SchoolGraduation.

Charlotta Bass (1952): "Let My People Go".

Richard Nixon (1952): The Checkers Speech.

Martin Luther King Jr. (1955): There Comes a Time When PeopleGet Tired".

Langston Hughes (1957): "On the Blacklist All Our Lives".

Roy Wilkins (1957): "The Clock Will Not Be Turned Back".

John F. Kennedy (1961): "Ask What You Can Do for YourCountry".

Douglas MacArthur (1962): "Duty, Honor, Country".

John F. Kennedy (1963): "Let Them Come to Berlin".

Martin Luther King Jr. (1963): "I Have a Dream".

Charles B. Morgan Jr. (1963): "Four Little Girls WereKilled"

Earl Warren (1963): Eulogy for President John F. Kennedy.

Malcolm X (1964): "The Ballot or the Bullet".

Barry Goldwater (1964): "Extremism in the Defense of Liberty IsNo Vice".

Mario Savio (1964): "History Has Not Ended".

Lyndon Baines Johnson (1965): "We Shall Overcome".

Adlai Stevenson (1965): To the United Nations.

William Sloane Coffin Jr. (1967): The Anvil of IndividualConscience".

Cesar Chavez (1968): "God Help Us to Be Men!"

J. William Fulbright (1968): "The Focus Is Vietnam".

Martin Luther King Jr. (1968): "I' ve Been to theMountaintop".

Robert F. Kennedy (1968): On the Assassination of Martin LutherKing Jr.

Shirley Chisholm (1969): "The Business of America Is War".

Frank James (1970): On the 350th Anniversary of Plymouth.

Archibald Cox (1971): "The Price of Liberty to Speak theTruth".

Barbara Jordan (1974): "My Faith in the Constitution IsWhole".

Richard Nixon (1974): "I Shall Resign the Presidency".

Silvio Conte (1975): "I Must 'Raise a Beef' about ThisBill".

Dr Seuss (1977): Commencement Address at Lake ForestCollege.

Esther Cohen (1981): At the Liberators Conference.

Samantha Smith (1983): "Look Around and See Only Friends".

Ronald Reagan (1986): To the Nation on the ChallengerDisaster.

Thurgood Marshall (1987): On the Bicentennial of theConstitution.

Ronald Reagan (1987): "Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down This Wall!"

Jesse Jackson (1988): To the Democratic National Convention.

Daniel Inouye (1993): To the 442nd Infantry Regimental CombatTeam.

Cal Ripken Jr. (1995): To His Fans.

Charles S. Robb (2000): "They Died for That Which Can NeverBurn".

Appendix: To the Young Speaker.

Permissions.

Photo Credits.

Index of Speakers.

Index of Themes.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2002

    American Heritage Book of Great American Speeches for Young People

    Students will be drawn into this challenging collection of speeches by presidents, black leaders, women of all ages and groups, native Americans, athletes, award winning writers, etc. Occasional photos will spur the student on to read, especially FDR with his dog Fala and Nixon with his dog Checkers!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2002

    Taking the 'Dry' Out of Our History

    I came upon this book while shopping for my grandchildren. Flipping through, I became interested enough to start reading it myself. Literally, a history of our country told by the people who lived in each era, this collection of speeches humanizes both the famous and the little known orators, and through them broadens our concept of the times. I loved it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2002

    American Heritage Book of Great American Speeches for Young People

    We Americans were shocked by 9/11. Our freedoms are fragile and our history is more important to us. What better way for young people to learn about our freedoms than by reading the fine words of great American speeches from Powhatan in 1609 through Charles Robb in 2000. Over 100 speeches of leaders: 11 presidents, Nobel and Pulitzer prize winners, athletes, women, native Americans, black leaders, athletes, etc. I, personally, was gratified to read the words of Angelina Grimke from Charleston, SC and Mark Twain and two speeches by Frederick Douglas. The photos enhanced many texts, especially Nixon's dog and FDR's dog!! A must for students to read. Laura Bush, our first lady, has recommended reading our great leaders' words in their original speeches.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2001

    BOOK RANKS HIGH WITH MIDDLE SCHOOL SPEAKERS

    Book of Great American Speeches for Young People is a book no speech teacher should be without. This is a book of oratorical speeches at your fingertips. The editor, Suzanne McIntire, did all speech coaches a big favor by editing speeches which are especially helpful for middle school/junior high speech assignments and oratorical interp competition.

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