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Publishers WeeklyThough overwhelming in its entirety, this collection of presidential speeches provides an insightful look at our nation's darkest periods, and the careful words our leaders chose to offer comfort and inspiration. In each of the book's six sections, covering 1935 to the present, author, publisher and historian Worek's carefully selected speeches illustrate perfectly each era's most pervasive challenges. Some speeches will spark instant recognition, including FDR's inaugural speech ("the only thing we have to fear is fear itself") and Gerald Ford's swearing-in ("I am acutely aware that you have not elected me as your President by your ballots"), and many phrases from Depression-era speeches, though 75 years old, sound eerily contemporary. The book's focus on devastating national events (the 1995 Oklahoma Bombings, the September 11 terrorist attacks, etc.) is inescapably depressing, but brings a measure of much-needed perspective on today's pressing issues. Happily, Worek ends with words of hope from President Obama: "We will rebuild, we will recover."
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