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Voices of History

A collection of history’s greatest speeches, with commentary from internationally bestselling historian Simon Sebag Montefiore.

VOICES OF HISTORY celebrates the great speeches of world history and cultural life. In this exuberant collection, acclaimed historian Simon Sebag Montefiore takes us on a journey from ancient times to the twenty-first century: some speeches are heroic and inspiring; some diabolical and atrocious; some are exquisite and poignant; others cruel and chilling. The speakers themselves vary from empresses and conquerors to rock stars, novelists and sportsmen, dreamers and killers, from Churchill and Elizabeth I to Stalin and Genghis Khan, and from Michelle Obama and Cleopatra to Bob Dylan, Nehru and Muhammad Ali.

All human drama is here: from the carnage of battlefields to the theatre of courtrooms, from table-talk to audiences of millions, from desperate last stands to orations of triumph, from noble calls for liberation to genocidal rants, from foolish delusions and strange confessions to defiant resistance and heartbreaking farewells, VOICES OF HISTORY spans centuries, continents and cultures. In the accessible and gripping style of a master storyteller, Montefiore shows why these seventy speeches are essential reading, and how they enlighten our past, enrich our present and inspire – and hold warnings for – our future.


‘An exuberant collection of great speeches from world history and cultural life takes us on a tour from antiquity to the 21st century. From Churchill and Elizabeth I to Michelle Obama and Bob Dylan, this book is packed with amazing orators’ WOMAN & HOME

‘Simon Sebag Montefiore is one of the UK’s history heavyweights… Reading these eloquent, powerful words from some of the greatest figures in history, while inspiring, also provides a sobering counterpoint with the rhetorical skills of some of those influencing world affairs today’ THE SCOTSMAN

‘Reading such powerful words from history urges us to pause and consider that the household names disrupting and influencing society today can so easily be folded in with the Boudiccas and Alexander the Greats. It’s a book that’ll make an excellent gift, or an exciting window on the past for those who love to analyse society and history’ IRISH NEWS

Voices of History