Review Detail

An Oratory Introduction
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0
A compilation of excerpts from fifteen noteworthy speeches, selected from across American history.

The chosen pieces represent great variety, stretching as far back as George Washington and reaching as close to modernity as Hilary Clinton. And though a number of obvious classic choices are named (Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, MLK's I Have a Dream, JFK's We Choose to Go to the Moon), there were several excellent works from lesser-known figures (Lou Gehrig's touching tributeFarewell to Baseball or Red Jacket's wry and pointed We Never Quarrel about Religion.) My personal favorite would have to be the wit and wisdom found in the delivery of Sojourner Truth's “I Am a Woman’s Rights.”

The editor openly admits when there were several different drafts of the speech in question, and explains she has selected the most authoritative version available. (I actually wasn't aware of the variations in the Gettysburg Address.)

The artwork has a vaguely oil pastel look, and clings strongly to realism. The pages offering historical context and highlighted snippets come across a little more busy and random in their layouts. The size and shape of the book itself proved a bit unwieldy in terms of reading and transport ease.

Due to the word density, vocabulary, and some of the more complex subject matter, I would recommend this more for a Middle-Grade audience. Though it's clearly being marketed as a Children's book, I'm certain a slightly older audience would glean far more of the meaning and significance of these oratorical treasures.
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