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The complete American presidential inaugural addresses featuring historical background by a National Book Award winner

A testament to the power of oratory, this stirring and often surprising collection includes all fifty-five United States presidential inaugural addresses, as well as a general introduction and commentary that provides historical context for each speech. Marking pivotal moments in American history, readers will learn:

? How George Washington came to ad-lib ?So help me, God? at the end of his first inaugural address

? Why Thomas Jefferson?s first inaugural address is considered one of the finest ever delivered

? The historical background behind Franklin D. Roosevelt?s ?The only thing we have to fear is fear itself? and John F.

Kennedy?s ?Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.?

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