Thursday, July 14, 2011

21 Speeches That Shaped Our World

21 Speeches That Shaped Our World
By Chris Abbott
Rider Books, 2010

Review by Ramona Wadi

An insightful journey through history, bringing together some of the most important speeches infiltrating humanity. Chris Abbott has woven the political rhetoric within its era and beyond, creating a provoking discussion that moves beyond the mundane classification of good and evil.

The book portrays a reality which is overshadowed by the flimsy justifications for any action taken by world leaders. From 1913 to 2009, the quest of justice has been championed, albeit on multiple occasions becoming an ideal to ravage later with actions contradictory to political rhetoric. From George W Bush to Osama bin Laden, Dwight Eisenhower and Salvador Allende, as well as Emmeline Pankhurst, Martin Luther King and other prominent historical figures, 21 Speeches That Shaped Our World is far from just a speech collection. Abbot's insight and commentary fuels further debate on the subject, and most of it is far from flattering.

To focus on a fragment of this volume, Abbot elaborates on the diverging political ideology between the US and Latin America, with Allende's speech marking the triumphant expression against the coup wholly supported by the world's superpower. The necessity to remain a superpower led the US to instigate wars against communist countries and the third world - preventing the socialist movement from gaining power. "I don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its own people. The issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide from themselves," declared Henry Kissinger prior to elections in 1970. Allende's graceful exit prior to his alleged suicide contains a rhetoric that is closer to the masses. "These are my last words ... I am certain that, at the very least, it will be a moral lesson that will punish felony, cowardice and treason."

Obama's political rhetoric had raised hopes for Americans and the rest of the world. His special attention and focus on the issues of Guantanamo, torture and the incessant wars in Iraq and Afghanistan led him to receive a Nobel Prize - for positive political rhetoric. The Obama administration has reneged on peace - actions include sending more soldiers to Afghanistan and supporting Zionist action against Palestinians and Palestinian territory.

Abbot makes a distinct observation which people should bear in mind whenever haranguing about one politician or another. Despite the logical conclusion that action is the fodder that matters, rhetoric goes beyond logic and assumes its own prominence, with promises of reform and actions which betray a manipulation of the masses.

1 comment:

Soviet postcards with Estonian motives (1960-1990) said...

A very greatest report, posted just on the anniversary of the French Revolution (July 14th, 1789).
Well done, Ramona!