Pericles' Funeral Oration
Ronald Reagan's Presidential Inaugural Address (1981)
Ronald Reagan's Challenger Speech (1986)
Ronald Reagan's "Tear Down This Wall Speech (1987)
It was for the sake of others that I first commenced writing biographies; but I find myself proceeding and attaching myself to it for my own; the virtues of these great men serving me as a sort of looking-glass, in which I may see how to adjust and adorn my own life. --Plutarch, Life of Timoleon.
Ronald Reagan (American, A.D. 1911-2004)

Speechmaking has played a major role in my life Some of my critics over the years have said that I became president because I was an actor who knew how to give a good speech. I suppose that's not too far wrong. Because an actor knows two important things--to be honest in what he's doing and to be in touch with the audience. That's not bad advice for a politician either. My actor's instinct simply told me to speak the truth as I saw it and felt it.

--Ronald Reagan, Speaking my Mind, 1989, Simon and Schuster, p. 14.

The speeches I gave in 1976 when I ran against President Ford for the Republican nomination and the speeches I gave in the 1980 race against President Carter were simply refinements on the basic idea's I'd been talking about sixteen years earlier in the Goldwater speech.

In fact, that's one of my theories about political speechmaking. You have to keep pounding away with your message, year after year, because that's the only way it will sink into the collective consciousness. I'm a big believer in stump speeches--speeches you can give over and over again with slight variations. Because if you have something you believe in deeply, it's worth repeating time and again until you achieve it. You also get better at delivering it.

-- Ronald Reagan, Speaking my Mind, 1989, Simon and Schuster, p. 59.