Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Those Who Forget History

Some folks calling themselves “American Rhetoric” have put up a page entitled “Top 100 Speeches.” On further examination of the site, it’s

the 100 most significant American political speeches of the 20th century, according to a list compiled by Professors Stephen E. Lucas and Martin J. Medhurst. Dr. Lucas is Evjue-Bascom Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Dr. Medhurst is Distinguished Professor of Rhetoric and Communication at Baylor University (Texas). 137 leading scholars of American public address were asked to recommend speeches on the basis of social and political impact, and rhetorical artistry.

But the headline on the page says “Top 100,” which is certainly misleading. Its an interesting list. (Via Todd Zywicki at Volokh, who also refers to it as a top 100, rather than a top 100 of the 20th century.)