Anglo-American Speechwriting


Logos (logic) and pathos (emotion) are self-explanatory, but ethos is more elusive. Essentially, ethos means building a bond with the audience, so that the audience will trust the speaker and be receptive to the speaker’s message.

To illustrate, I gave two particularly appropriate examples, about 60 years apart, of how two very different British prime ministers used ethos when they addressed a joint session of the U.S. Congress.”


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“Exit Tsar”


March 15 marks the 100th anniversary of the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia.The milestone has attracted little notice. It is the opinion of most historians that Nicholas was a failure: feckless, dimwitted, reactionary—and henpecked to boot. But as Robert Massie makes clear in his admirable biography, Nicholas and Alexandra, the real Nicholas was more complex, more human and more interesting than the caricature.

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A Great King, a Great Actor and a Little Church


The best indicator of the reverence that the British people had toward the monarchy at that particular moment in time was the eulogy that Laurence Olivier delivered on the death of George VI, Queen Elizabeth’s father, the previous year.

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Prime Minister Theresa May’s Philadelphia Speech


Mrs May skilfully framed many international policy issues in a way that appealed to Donald Trump’s instincts, even if he might well have serious doubts about the outcomes. By doing that she sounded confident, steady and businesslike. She sounded like a leader.

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“Lord, we came…”

photoLast month in Jerusalem, at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, I and a small band of fellow pilgrims were privileged to view a rare artifact that has been jealously guarded by the Armenian Orthodox Church since it was discovered in 1971.

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