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To read of Elizabeth I addressing her troops before the Spanish Armada, or Martin Luther- King urging the American population for racial equality is to understand the tremendous power of language to inspire, to comfort, to move, or to enthuse an audience. It is inspiring to hear the words of people whose gift was to know what to say, when to say it, and how to phrase it, often in language so powerful, so eloquent and so beautiful that we remember their words centuries after they were first spoken. Here is an enjoyable collection of the greatest speeches that have been delivered throughout history, prefaced by brief historical and biographical introductions. The book includes some of the greatest, most celebrated speeches, such as Pericles' funeral oration in Athens in the fifth century BC, as well as lesser known speeches, such as Lieutenant- Colonel Tim Collins' eve-of-battle address to his soldiers in Iraq in 2003 - all of which deserve to be celebrated and credited by modern audiences.