Cover image for My fellow Americans : the most important speeches of America's presidents, from George Washington to George W. Bush
My fellow Americans : the most important speeches of America's presidents, from George Washington to George W. Bush
Waldman, Michael.
Publication Information:
Naperville, Ill. : Sourcebooks, [2003]

Physical Description:
xiii, 337 pages : illustrations ; 28 cm + 2 compact discs.
General Note:
Compact discs (CDs) are narrated by George Stephanopoulos.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
J81.4 .M93 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize
J81.4 .M93 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

On Order



The history of the United States lives in the words of its presidents-words that heal, inspire and sometimes divide a nation and the world. My Fellow Americans brings to life two centuries of American history, as you read and hear the presidential speeches that defined our nation's most dramatic moments. My Fellow Americans presents, in text and on two audio CDs, more than 40 of the greatest speeches from American presidents. Former White House chief speechwriter Michael Waldman introduces them, telling their dramatic stories and explaining their impact. In original essays, Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton describe the talks that influenced them the most. Included are captivating photographs, illustrations and handwritten manuscripts, including: -Never-before-seen handwritten speech notes used by President Clinton -The speech, announcing an attack on Cuba, that President Kennedy did not have to give during the Cuban missile crisis -An actual photo of Lincoln at Gettysburg And much more... The accompanying audio CDs let you hear these great speeches as they happened-some recordings are more than 100 years old-and reenact speeches from before the dawn of recorded audio. We hear the voices of every president since Benjamin Harrison. Experience some of our greatest moments, such as "The Only Thing We Have to Fear, Is Fear Itself," "Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You" and "Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down This Wall." Hear Lyndon Johnson adopt "We Shall Overcome" for all Americans; John F. Kennedy proclaim "Ich Bin Ein Berliner" at the Berlin Wall; and a fascinating account by a man who saw and heard President Lincoln deliver the Gettysburg Address. My Fellow Americans presents a fascinating journey through American history that can be shared with your family and friends, whether you're reliving the event, or hearing it together for the first time.

Author Notes

Michael Waldman was one of the few aides to work closely with president Bill Clinton from the first day of his presidency until nearly the end of the term. He played a key role on controversial issues from campaign finance reform to free trade. Previously, he was a writer & public interest lawyer & the author of "Who Robbed America? A Citizen's Guide to the S&L Scandal."

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Here is an excellent combination of print and CD: presidential speeches transcribed in the text and captured live on the accompanying pair of discs. Waldman, formerly director of speechwriting under Bill Clinton, selects what he feels are the 43 most important speeches by American presidents from Washington to Bush and supplies context-setting introductions to each of them. Predictably, the speeches of earlier presidents (Lincoln, Wilson, FDR) stand up better as prose, while the efforts of the post-television heads of state read like strings of sound bites. Listening to the CDs, which are introduced by George Stephanopoulus, showcases the personalities and their speaking styles (every president from Grover Cleveland onward is represented). Younger listeners will respond immediately to the magnetism of FDR and JFK, the oratorical stiffness of Nixon, the straight shooting of Teddy Roosevelt. And, of course, beyond the personalities, these 43 speeches encapsulate key moments in American history. Whether as curriculum support or nostalgia, this print-audio package belongs on library shelves. --Ilene Cooper Copyright 2003 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Don't know much about American history? This multimedia collection of the great words of American presidents is for you. While this guide covers the entire American presidency, it is understandably weighted heavily toward the last 75 years. The early speeches-Washington's inaugural words, Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, Woodrow Wilson's WWI speech-are read credibly by actors. But this valuable collection really picks up steam with FDR, when the presidents themselves do the speaking. (Most of the recent presidents, with the exception of Jimmy Carter, have more than one speech included.) There will be those who may wish other speeches were added, but it's hard to quibble with those included: John F. Kennedy's words during the Cuban missile crisis, Lyndon B. Johnson's speech upon assuming the presidency, Ronald Reagan's speech calling on Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall. With introductions given for each speech-former Clinton aide Stephanopoulos narrates the CDs-this collection is no less than a primer on U.S. history and the ways issues of government, race and democracy have been viewed during the past 225 years. And there are some surprising moments as well: Richard Nixon's speech to his staff explaining his resignation from the presidency after Watergate shows an emotional side of Nixon rarely seen by the public. 100 b&w illus. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up-This excellent resource contains 43 speeches from 17 presidents, nearly all unabridged, each with an introduction explaining its historical context and significance. Two companion CDs allow listeners to hear all 43 speeches, including the actual voices of presidents from Teddy Roosevelt to George W. Bush. More than 100 black-and-white photos and reproductions add to the visual appeal. Waldman's stated purpose in putting together this volume is to show how the actions, the dreams, and the big ideas presented by these addresses furthered the American democratic spirit. Some early drafts are included, including several versions of the opening paragraph of JFK's Inaugural Address. The most recent entry is President Bush's Address on Iraq given on March 17, 2003, accompanied by the April news photo showing the fall of the Saddam Hussein statue in Baghdad. A fine addition.-Linda Beck, Indian Valley Public Library, Telford, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

IntroductionGeorge Washington
First Inaugural Address, April 30, 1789
Farewell Address, September 19, 1796Thomas Jefferson
First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801Andrew Jackson
Veto of the Bank of the United States, July 10, 1832
Proclamation on Nullification, December 10, 1832Abraham Lincoln
""A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand"", June 16, 1858
First I