In Our Own Words

In Our Own Words

Extraordinary Speeches of the American Century

This bestselling collection of American oratory is the most comprehensive anthology of its kind: a record of twentieth-century America captured in the words that inspired and infuriated, electrified and galvanized its people. Decade by decade, generation to generation, history unfolds in the famous and infamous expressions of Americans from all walks of life: poets and politicians, artists and astronauts, soldiers and sports legends, preachers and pacifists, humorists and hell-raisers.
In Our Own Words bears witness to the forces that swept our nation -- two World Wars, Prohibition, the Depression, the Cold War, the Civil Rights era, Vietnam, the Reagan era, and beyond -- and features the voices of Theodore Roosevelt * Booker T. Washington * Mark Twain * Emma Goldman * Woodrow Wilson * Marcus Garvey * Oliver Wendell Holmes * George S. Patton * Pearl Buck * Orson Welles * Jackie Robinson * Joseph McCarthy * Rachel Carson * Vince Lombardi * Barry Goldwater * John F. Kennedy * J. Edgar Hoover * Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. * Malcolm X * Richard M. Nixon * Frank Zappa * Elie Wiesel * Charlton Heston * Ryan White * Duke Ellington * Billy Graham * Barbara Jordan * Bill Clinton * Cesar Chavez * Helen Keller...and dozens of others who tell the story of their age from their podiums and soapboxes, courtrooms and convention halls.
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  • Washington Square Press | 
  • 480 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780743410526 | 
  • October 2000
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Read an Excerpt


The center of my early life was my mother's school library. A lifelong teacher, she tended that collection of books as if it were another child. This might have led to a sibling rivalry. But, as the library grew, I soon realized that I was the principal beneficiary; all damaged or duplicate books became mine, and the walls of my room disappeared behind a covering of publishers' promotions.

As technology progressed, publishers no longer simply sent books, but audio tapes and vinyl records as well. Among the first to arrive was a recording of famous speeches. By today's standards of CD-ROMs and compact discs, these 33 rpm... see more

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