My old skipper died not long ago. He had sold his last fishing boat almost twenty years before and gone on to other endeavors, and I had been out of touch with him for several years when I heard he’d become gravely ill. Read more …
“I know that men are won over less by the written than by the spoken word, that every great movement on this earth owes its growth to orators and not to great writers.” — Adolf Hitler, “Author’s Preface,” Mein Kampf (James Murphy trans., 1939)
Houston Peterson, compiler of A Treasury of the World’s Great Speeches (1965), believed that “eloquent speech” (oratory) originated deep in the prehistoric past among men “who cast spells over their fellows with the magic of words. Read more …
Adolf Hitler, Sportpalast, Berlin, Germany, September 14, 1930
I read that Hitler delivered about 5,000 major speeches during his lifetime running to many thousands of pages. I am unaware whether a comprehensive listing of his speeches, or any reliable word count, exists. I suspect they do not. Read more …
Jean-Jules-Antoine Lecomte du Nouÿ, "Demosthenes Practicing Oratory," 1870
There is a vast gulf between oratory, on the one hand, and public speaking on the other.
By oratory I mean the art of speaking in the style we associate with great orators of the Western past, not elaborate, formal, public discourses treating important topics in a stiff, formal, or dignified manner.