Monday, September 15, 2014


A review of  Simon Sebag Montefiore's Speeches That Changed the World (2010)

(Rating 2 of 5)

My initial reaction to this book was it was not properly titled.  I think a better title would have been ‘Pieces of my Favorite Speeches.’ The speeches are taken from various people throughout history from Jesus to President Barack Obama.  Each speech is preceded by a mini-biography.  The historical and world changing aspects of each speech are up to some debate.  The speeches are not always presented whole, but edited for space and in some cases outright mutilated.   There were some I found fascinating such as Pierre Trudeau’s speech during Quebec separatist crisis. (For the record, I think there is no movement more ridiculous the Quebec sovereignty movement.)  I thought the choice of speeches for General Patton was sad.  If you are going to choose one speech from General Patton, why would you choose one without his most famous line*?
            In addition, there is a video that goes with this, however it is more of a history of world from 1933-2009 than a collection of speeches.  It is a poor reinforcement for the book.          

*"No bastard ever won a war dying for his country.  He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country."

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