Monday, 28 December 2009

Mini book review: Great Speeches for Better Speaking

I've just finished reading Great Speeches for Better Speaking by Michael E Eidenmuller (published by McGraw Hill).

It's not quite holiday reading, but neither is it a textbook. It's a curated journey Eidenmuller takes you on, through six historical speeches of the 20th century, complete with full recordings.

Eidenmuller's passion for his subject is almost tangible. I was a little disappointed, however, in how brief and tantalizing some of the commentary is. Still, with recordings and full transcripts available, Eidenmuller's commentary is more of a kickstarter, and he offers a few hints of where to go next, but leaves the journey up to us.

He also brings up the "Great Debate", between Plato who argued that rhetoric was dangerous, and Aristotle who said it was a powerful force for democracy - if everyone understands it.

It's an important question, especially in am age where social media gives everyone with an Internet connection, a voice.

Highly recommended reading if you speak, write, or just enjoy a good speech.

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