I love the book “Great Speeches for Better Speaking” by Michael E. Eidenmuller, Ph.D. He also happens the guy who has lovingly put together American Rhetoric http://www.americanrhetoric.com for us all to enjoy—I virtually live on that site.
Eidenmuller has spent his life devoted to collecting and analyzing speeches and he comes across with a humble authority as he writes. It’s a smart book that’s written in a very accessible style and tone. He wonderfully analyzed 6 speeches, put them in their historical context and explains how the situation, content, structure, style, delivery and rhetoric played a role in the speeches. The book comes with 2 CDs of all the speeches–that’s 110 minutes of speeches. I listened to the speeches first and then read the book and it was very powerful. He covered speeches by Ronald Reagan, Ed Kennedy, Douglas MacArthur, JFK, Barbara Jordan and Mary Fisher. I recommend this multi-sensory learning experience to all of you. It was not only a nice history lesson but will help you construct better presentations in the future.