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The best of speeches, the worst of speeches

By Tom Chatfield  

It was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity

How can you tell whether a speech is good or not? By its reception? Its elegance? Its honesty? Its appropriateness? Its enduring power? Before my rhetorical list gets too interminable, here are two very different takes on the speech of the moment, Obama’s acceptance oration in Chicago.

The first comes from the pen of no less a critic than the New Yorker‘s James Woods. “Among…

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