• Author:Ben Jones
  • Comments:0

What makes the greatest speeches in history great? Let’s start as we mean to carry on…….20 January 1961

 

Over the coming weeks I am going to blog about great speeches and speech-making. I am going to share some of my favourite speeches and draw out some of the things that I believe made them great.
I have been watching, listening to and reading speeches for as long as I can remember – YouTube now makes that even easier and allows me to indulge my geeky obsession every day. The analysis and anorak-wearing will follow in subsequent posts. For today, let’s start as we mean to go on – at the top with a very high bar – a bar that few US Presidents have met before or after – and enjoy this exquisite example of the art form from 1963.
President Kennedy’s Inaugural Address is something truly special. The expectations. The setting. The occasion. The weather! The challenge was unimaginable high – not just the transfer of power from one president to another but from one generation to another – a new vision for America and the world – a new start. This masterpiece – true, genuine masterpiece of writing and delivery – sounds as fresh today as it did then, 52 years ago. I have listened to it dozens and dozens of time and still I find it captivating and each time I find new things to like. Take a look; have a read and enjoy.
I will reflect some more on this in future posts but if you really want to join the fan club of this speech, take a  read of this excellent book from Thurston Clarke………
JFK