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Selected as a 2011 University Press Book for Public and Secondary School Libraries
•Rated O - Outstanding
Whatever his ratings, Obama remains personally popular, widely acknowledged for his soaring oratory. His words were one of the lasting legacies of his presidential campaign and are proving to be among his most effective governing weapons.
In Power in Words, distinguished historian and civil rights activist Mary Frances Berry and former presidential speechwriter Josh Gottheimer introduce Obama’s most memorable speeches, from his October 2002 speech against the war in Iraq and his November 2008 election-night victory speech to “A More Perfect Union,” his March 2008 response to the Reverend Wright controversy, and lesser-known but revealing speeches, such as one given in Nairobi, Kenya, in August 2006.
For each speech, Berry and Gottheimer add a rich introduction that includes political analysis, provides insight and historical context, and features commentary straight from the speechwriters themselves–including Jon Favreau, Obama’s chief speechwriter, and several other Obama campaign writers. Compelling and enduring, Power in Words delivers the behind-the-scenes account of Obama’s rhetorical legacy and is a collection to relish for years to come.
“In the long sweep of history, readers will be able to refer to this work to better understand and appreciate the power of words of our forty-fourth president of the United States.”–Dana Perino, former White House press secretary
“It was the late Richard Neustadt who famously wrote that ‘presidential power is the power to persuade.’ This rich and thoughtful collection of the stories behind the speeches that launched Barack Obama to the national stage and eventually the presidency demonstrates how incredible this power can be when placed in the hands of a brilliant and gifted orator. Power in Words highlights President Obama’s ability–and the abilities of his talented speechwriters and advisers–to translate the unspoken desire of the American people for a leader with humility, intelligence, and understanding into a language that all Americans could connect with and believe in.”–John Podesta, former chief of staff for President Bill Clinton and CEO of the Center for American Progress
“Words matter, especially in a time of crisis. Learn how Obama’s words got him elected, and why it matters to all of us, in this engaging look at his rise to the presidency.”–Eric Schmidt, chair/CEO of Google Inc