From the beginning of history, public speech has been recognized as a powerful means of communication. Verbs spoken in front of a crowd have a function – to motivate people to take action, to correct injustice, to fight tyranny, to spread love, to inspire those in hardship, to express new opinions or to give information. They also have a more contemptible function – to spread evil and lies, to turn black into light, to stir up hateful passions. What wonder that speech was one of the most respected arts in the classical world and that Cicero said that nothing was so incredible that it was impossible to make speech acceptable? In this collection, there are over fifty speeches in all, speeches given from the time of Moses down to modern Ireland. There are great speeches – such as Pericles, Napoleon, Abraham Lincoln, Pearse, Eamon de Valera, Franklin D. Roosevelt – and speeches that are less well known but give us another insight into life and history.