Adlai Stevenson, himself a notable speaker, often reminisced about his last meeting with Churchill. I asked him on whom or what he had based his oratorical style. Churchill replied, "It was an American statesman who inspired me and taught me how to use every note of the human voice like an organ." Winston then to my amazement started to quote long excerpts from Bourke Cockran's speeches of 60 years before. "He was my model," Churchill said. "I learned from him how to hold thousands in thrall."
Technically, 'Kukla, Fran and Ollie' was a kids' show, but adults watched almost religiously - and we're talking adult adults, celebrated adults - including James Thurber, Orson Welles, John Steinbeck, Adlai E. Stevenson and lyricist Stephen Sondheim.
There are two Americas. One is the America of Lincoln and Adlai Stevenson; the other is the America of Teddy Roosevelt and the modern superpatriots. One is generous and humane, the other narrowly egotistical; one is self-critical, the other self-righteous; one is sensible, the other romantic; one is good-humored, the other solemn; one is inquiring, the other pontificating; one is moderate, the other filled with passionate intensity; one is judicious and the other arrogant in the use of great power.
A strange species we are, We can stand anything God and nature can throw at us save only plenty. If I wanted to destroy a nation, I would give it too much, and I would have it on its knees, miserable, greedy, sick. --John Steinbeck to Adlai Stevenson