The people and ideas that changed the way we think
A thought-provoking collection of 21 speeches that have shaped the modern world
In this fascinating book, Chris Abbott, a leading political analyst, takes a close look at 21 key speeches which have shaped the world today. He examines the power of the arguments embedded in these speeches to inspire people to achieve great things, or do great harm.
Abbott draws upon his political expertise to explain how our current understanding of the world is rooted in pivotal moment of history. These moments are captured in the words of a range of influential, including: Emmeline Pankhurst, Martin Luther King, Jr, Enoch Powell, Napoleon Beazley, Kevin Rudd, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, Osama bin Laden, Margaret Beckett, Winston Churchill, Salvador Allende, Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair, Tim Collins, Mohandas Gandhi, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Robin Cook, Deval Patrick, Marie Fatayi-Williams and Barak Obama.
The speeches in this book are arranged thematically, linked by concepts such as 'might is right', 'with us or against us' and 'give peace a chance'. Each transcript is accompanied by an insightful commentary that analyses how the words relate to our modern society. Fresh and relevant, this is a book that will make you stop in your tracks and think about what is really happening in the world today.
“An interesting selection of speeches ...Throughout, Abbott provides a thorough historical context and argues convincingly for the continuing relevance of the ideas expressed.”
“21 Speeches is a brilliant idea. Chris Abbott takes some of the most significant speeches of the last one hundred years and frames them in a perceptive analysis, providing a narrative that illuminates many of the most important trends of our times”
Paul Rogers, Professor of Peace Studies, University of Bradford
“A unique compilation of catalytic speeches which have reflected or hastened tipping points in global politics. Chris Abbott persuasively demonstrates how these speeches are relevant to some of the biggest choices that face humanity in the 21st century.”
John Sloboda, Oxford Research Group and Iraq Body Count
“In this era of information overload and de-personalised mass internet communication, we risk losing sight of the fact that inspired individuals emerge from time to time to turn the course of human history by the sheer force of their ideas and eloquence of their language. Chris Abbott has done a great service in reminding us of of these people and of their continuing relevance for today's world.”
Rosie Houldsworth, founder and director, TalkWorks