"A great speech is public poetry. It casts a spell on the chosen audience. Laconic Australians like to think that they are impervious to such magic, but this splendid book proves the contrary. It is at once a history of the struggle of ideas since 1770 and an anthology of powerful feelings, powerfully expressed." - Justice Michael Kirby
"Great speeches are not a series of clever one-liners any more than Hamlet is a series of quotations. The two essentials are a passion to persuade and a deep respect for the intelligence of the audience. The many fine examples of contemporary and original eloquence in this rich collection attest to the central truth, as old as Cicero, that 'speech is character'. Well May We Say displays the making of the Australian character through speeches, warts and all." - Graham Freudenberg
From Robert Menzies' famous speech on 'The Forgotten People' to Australian Rules football coach John Kennedy's stirring address to his players on Grand Final Day, Well May We Say shows that the mood, character and history of Australia and its people can be defined by its oratory. It reminds us, too, of the power of a single voice to move and delight, to persuade and inspire.
This definitive collection includes speeches by Paul Keating, Patrick White, Miles Franklin, Ben Chifley, Geoffrey Blainey and many more. Each speech and speech-maker is deftly introduced by editor Sally Warhaft.