Snippet of a soon-to-be published book that will remain unpublished:
In such a survey you’d inevitably read about American presidents as orators, and how few of them were renowned for their eloquence or verbal skill. James Madison, the fourth president, was well-educated, but he disliked making speeches and had a “weak” and “unexciting” voice; he preferred to write, and his long, complicated sentences showed it. Andrew Jackson was a rustic who spoke with an Irish accent and often sprayed his listeners with saliva. Abraham Lincoln spoke with a country accent (he was from rural southern Illinois) and spent much of his presidency bowing out of public speaking, less because he felt uncomfortable than because, as he said once, “every
word is so closely noted that it will not do to make trivial ones.” Theodore Roosevelt, who became known as a forceful orator, started out clumsily in the New York State Legislature, and Herbert Hoover, painfully shy, with a wobbly voice, hated public speaking.