Ted Sorensen's prose for then-president John F. Kennedy sometimes promised too much idealism, put too much faith in appeals to our common humanity. The high-flown rhetoric didn't always match Kennedy's actions. But the speeches still have their power because they do not depend on the man who delivered them or the man who helped write them. They depend on who listens and reads them, and how that audience—now as then—responds. They made people feel like they were in the world together, despite their deep disagreements.