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A Brief History of Political Oratory

Linguist Geoff Nunberg looks back at the tradition of American political oratory. Debates and speeches drew crowds by the thousands in the 19th century., but television has reduced much of that discourse to soundbites. The rare moments in which we can hear a speech in full remind us of how much fun politics must have been in the past, says Nunberg.

03:47

Other segments from the episode on August 19, 1988

Fresh Air with Terry Gross, August 17, 1988: Interview with Ray Bradbury; Review of Jorge Bolet's album "Ballades Barcarolle; Fantaisie, op. 49"; Interview with Jack Towers; Commentary on political…

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