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Speeches That Changed the World

Author(s): Simon Sebag Montefiore


From calls to arms to demands for peace, and from cries of freedom to words of inspiration, this stirring anthology captures the voices of prophets and politicians, rebels and tyrants, soldiers and statesman, placing them in historical context. With over a million copies already sold, this revised and updated edition includes speeches that have shaped the modern world: from Aung San Suu Kyi on freedom to Al Gore on the environment and from Malala Yousafzai on the education of women to Pope Francis on peace. A biography of each speechmaker reveals how they came to stand at the crossroads of history, and each speech is accompanied by an introduction explaining its historical context and how it influenced the momentous events of the day - as well as those that followed. New speeches include Malala Yousafzai's speech to the UN Youth Assembly on access to education (2013), Vladimir Putin's address regarding the annexation of Crimea (2014), Xi Jinping's Communist Party General Secretary's speech in Beijing (2012), Pope Francis's First Easter 'Urbi et Orbi' Message (2013) and Al Gore's address to the UN Bali Climate Change Conference (2007). Moving and thought-provoking, this new edition will continue to inspire and enlighten readers, offering them a fascinating perspective on historical milestones through the power of the spoken word. Contents include: Nelson Mandela, Barack Obama, Martin Luther King, Elizabeth I, Oliver Cromwell, George Washington, Napoleon Bonaparte, Abraham Lincoln, Emmeline Pankhurst, Mahatma Gandhi, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Charles de Gaulle, General George S. Patton, Mao Zedong, Malcolm X, Vaclav Havel, Mikhail Gorbachev, Indira Gandhi and Winston Churchill to name a few. Accompanied by a unique one-hour documentary containing 16 great speeches.


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Simon Sebag Montefiore read history at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge. He is the author of Potemkin: Prince of Princes and the award-winning Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar. He lives in London with his wife, the novelist Santa Montefiore, and their two children.

Jesus of Nazareth: 'Blessed are the poor in spirit'. The Prophet Mohammed: 'Turn then your face towards the Sacred Mosque'. Queen Elizabeth I: 'I have the heart and the stomach of a king'. King Charles I: 'I go from a corruptible to an incorruptible crown'. Oliver Cromwell: 'In the name of God, go!'. George Washington: 'A passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils'. Thomas Jefferson: 'We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists'. Napoleon Bonaparte: 'Soldiers of my Old Guard: I bid you farewell'. Abraham Lincoln: 'Government of the people, by the people, for the people'. Susan B. Anthony: 'Are women persons?'. Emmeline Pankhurst: 'I am here as a soldier'. Patrick Pearse: 'Ireland unfree shall never be at peace'. Woodrow Wilson: 'The world must be made safe for democracy'. Vladimir Ilyich Lenin: 'Power to the Soviets'. Clarence Darrow: 'I believe in the law of love'. Mohandas K. Gandhi: 'I have faith in the righteousness of our cause'. Franklin D. Roosevelt: 'The only thing we have to fear is fear itself'; 'A date which will live in infamy'. Adolf Hitler: 'My patience is now at an end'; 'I am from now on just first soldier of the Reich'. Neville Chamberlain: 'Peace for our time'. Joseph Stalin: 'It is imperative that we agree to conclude the pact'. Winston Churchill: 'Blood, toil, tears and sweat'; 'We shall fight on the beaches'; 'This was their finest hour'; Never in the field of human conflict'; 'An iron curtain has descended'. Charles de Gaulle: 'The flame of French resistance must not and shall not die'. Vyacheslav Molotov: 'Perfidy unparalleled in the history of civilized nation'. George S. Patton, Jr: 'I am personally going to shoot that paper-hanging sonofabitch Hitler'. Emperor Hirohito: 'Enduring the unendurable'. J. Robert Oppenheimer: 'We are not only scientists; we are men, too'. Jawaharlal Nehru: 'At the stroke of the midnight hour... India will awake'. Douglas MacArthur: 'I have just left your fighting sons in Korea'. Nikita Khrushchev: 'The cult of the individual'. John F. Kennedy: 'Ask not what your country can do for you'; 'Ich bin ein Berliner'. Martin Luther King, Jr: 'I have a dream'; 'I've seen the promised land'. Nelson Mandela: 'An ideal for which I am prepared to die'; 'Free at last'. Malcolm X: 'You can't hate the roots of a tree and not hate the tree'. Pierre Trudeau: 'Who are the kidnap victims?'. Richard Nixon: 'There can be no whitewash at the White House'. Indira Gandhi: 'The special responsibility of the women of India'. Chaim Herzog: 'Hate, ignorance and evil'. Anwar al-Sadat: 'We accept to live with you in permanent peace'. Pope John Paul II: 'Our Polish freedom costs so much'. Ronald Reagan: 'Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall!'. Mikhail Gorbachev: 'Freedom of choice is a universal principle'. Aung San Suu Kyi: 'It is no power that corrupts, but fear'. Earl Spencer: 'The most hunted person of the modern age'. Elie Wiesel: 'The perils of indifference'. George W. Bush: 'Today, our nation saw evil'. Gerry Adams: 'Our struggle has reached a defining moment'. Al Gore: 'Political will is a renewable resource'. Kevin Rudd: 'To the stolen generations... I am sorry'. Barack Obama: 'America is a place where all things are possible'. Xi Jinping: 'This great responsibility is the responsibility to the people'. Pope Francis: 'Peace in the whole world, still divided by greed looking for easy gain'. Malala Yousafzai: 'One pen and one book can change the world'. Vladimir Putin: 'Crimea has always been an inseparable part of Russia'. Index of speakers and key lines.

General Fields

  • : 9781848668645
  • : Quercus Publishing
  • : Quercus Publishing
  • : 1.1
  • : November 2014
  • : 265mm X 185mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : November 2014
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Simon Sebag Montefiore
  • : Mixed media product
  • : Revised edition
  • : 256
  • : 50 b&w photographs