Assuming a father already possesses his children's love, honor and respect, what more could he wish for? How about the power of persuasion? Sure, the little critters might love us, but how can we get them to obey us?
In this quest, fathers of the English-speaking world will find a new book quite helpful -- even inspiring. "Words That Shook the World: 100 Years of Unforgettable Speeches and Events," by Richard Greene with Florie Brizel (Alpha Communications), offers the annotated text of modern history's most memorable spoken words. How did Winston Churchill get the free world to gird itself for battle with a much stronger German foe? How did former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo fire up Democrats at their 1984 convention? What did Ronald Reagan say to comfort a nation and convince its people to support future space travel following the Challenger disaster?
The book collects those speeches, as well as oratory from Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy, Theodore Roosevelt and Lou Gehrig, among others. Yitzhak Rabin's call for peace is here, as is Anwar Sadat's. Finally, there is President Bush's post-Sept. 11 address to the nation -- and we forgot just how effective a speech that was.
The speeches are annotated paragraph by paragraph by Greene, an L.A.-based public speaking coach, who dissects how each address achieved its maximum impact, word by word, image by image. The authors also provide archival photos, historical background and -- perhaps best of all -- each book comes with a two-CD compilation of the speeches as they were delivered (though actor James Gandolfini stands in for Gehrig, and Edmund Morris for Teddy Roosevelt).
At $50, "Words That Shook the World" may be a splurge, but if it helps dad finally get his way, it's worth it.
Richard Greene will sign his book at Barnes & Noble, 16461 Ventura Blvd., Encino, 1 p.m., Sat., June 14.