Reference Shelf: Representative American Speeches, 2011-2012
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The genre of speech often presents the most engaging reflections on American life. This collection, a continuing series on representative speeches, draws upon themes that have dominated public discussion the previous year, as well as introduce to readers speeches exemplary of the genre. Subjects include the most dominant topic of the year, the wide-ranging effects of the economic downturn, with speeches on the status of the middle class, the question of equitable corporate pay, the globalization of American industry. The significance of social networking continues to evolve in every area of American life, perhaps most dramatically in the fields of business, education, and politics. Several speakers explain why companies and organizations no longer dismiss the notion of social and networking. Conversely, a controversial new phenomenon of social networking is the question of privacy and security, which affects a many levels of American life. These speeches address these concerns in the range of contexts, including bullying in the schools, body and face recognition in air travel, and the commerce of user identification.