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Power in Words: The Stories behind Barack Obama's Speeches, from the State House to the White Houseby Mary Frances Berry
Synopses & Reviews
Includes eighteen full-length speeches
The behind-the-scenes story of how eighteen speeches made a president
Whatever his ratings, Obama remains personally popular, widely acknowledged for his soaring oratory. His words were one of the lasting legacies of his presidential campaign and are proving to be among his most efficacious governing weapons.
In Power in Words, Berry and Gottheimer introduce Obama’s most memorable speeches, from his October 2002 speech against the war in Iraq and his November 2008 election-night victory speech to “A More Perfect Union,” his March 2008 response to the Reverend Wright controversy, and lesser-known but revealing speeches, such as one given in Nairobi, Kenya, in August 2006.
Berry and Gottheimer include a rich introduction to every speech that features political analysis and provides insight and historical context. Power in Words includes commentary straight from Jon Favreau, Obama’s chief speechwriter, as well as former presidential speechwriters such as Michael Waldman (Bill Clinton) and Michael Gerson (George W. Bush).
“Power in Words dissects the rhetoric of the president in unprecedented ways. A while back I began to see this movement the president is leading as a kind of cultural transformation, and in this book the stories behind the famous addresses come to life.”
“Refer to this work to better understand and appreciate the power of words of our forty-fourth president.”
—Dana Perino, former White House press secretary
Whatever his ratings, Obama remains personally popular, widely acknowledged for his soaring oratory. His words were one of the lasting legacies of his presidential campaign and are proving to be among hismost effective governing weapons.
In Power in Words, distinguished historian and civil rights activist Mary Frances Berry and former presidentialspeechwriter Josh Gottheimer introduce Obama's most memorable speeches, from his October 2002 speech against the war in Iraq and his November 2008 election-night victory speech to A More PerfectUnion, his March 2008 response to the Reverend Wright controversy, and lesser-known but revealing speeches, such as one given in Nairobi, Kenya, in August 2006.
For eachspeech, Berry and Gottheimer add a rich introduction that includes political analysis, provides insight and historical context, and features commentary straight from the speechwriters themselves--including JonFavreau, Obama's chief speechwriter, and several other Obama campaign writers. Compelling and enduring, Power in Words delivers the behind-the-scenes account of Obama'srhetorical legacy and is a collection to relish for years to come.
About the Author
Mary Frances Berry teaches at the University of Pennsylvania and is the author of nine books. The recipient of over thirty honorary degrees, she has been chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, is a regular contributor to Politico.com, and has appeared on Real Time with Bill Maher, Anderson Cooper 360, The Daily Show, Tavis Smiley, and The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.
Josh Gottheimer was presidential speechwriter and special assistant to Bill Clinton, and has written speeches for John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, and other high-profile Democrats. He appears regularly on MSNBC, Fox News, and CNN as a political analyst, edited Ripples of Hope: Great American Civil Rights Speeches, and is currently the global executive vice president for Burson-Marsteller, one of the world’s largest communication firms.
Ted Sorensen is former special counsel and adviser to President John F. Kennedy and a widely published author on the presidency and foreign affairs.
Table of Contents
Speech against the Iraq War resolution : October 2, 2002, Federal Plaza, Chicago, Illinois — Keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention : July 27, 2004, FleetCenter, Boston, Massachusetts — United States Senate victory speech : November 2, 2004, Hyatt Ballroom, Chicago, Illinois — John Lewis's sixty-fifth birthday gala : February 21, 2005, Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center, Atlanta, Georgia — Knox College commencement address : June 4, 2005, Galesburg, Illinois — Call to renewal keynote address : June 28, 2006, National City Church, Washington, D.C. — "An honest government, a hopeful future" : August 28, 2006, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya — Presidential announcement speech : February 10, 2007, Old State Capitol, Springfield, Illinois — Iowa Jefferson-Jackson dinner : November 10, 2007, Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Des Moines, Iowa — Night of Iowa caucus : January 3, 2008, Hy-Vee Hall, Des Moines, Iowa — Night of New Hampshire primary : January 8, 2008, Nashua South High Schook, Nashua, New Hampshire — South Carolina primary victory speech : January 26, 2008, Columbia Hotel, Columbia, South Carolina — Night of Super Tuesday primaries : February 5, 2008, Hyatt Regency Hotel, Chicago, Illinois — "A more perfect union" : March 18, 2008, National Constitution Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — Night of North Carolina and Indiana primaries : May 6, 2008, RBC Center, Raleigh, North Carolina — "A world that stands as one" : July 24, 2008, Victory Column, Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany — "The American promise," Democratic National Convention : August 28, 2008, Invesco Field, Denver, Colorado — Election night victory speech : November 4, 2008, Grant Park, Chicago, Illinois.
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