You Are Not Special

And Other Encouragements

By David McCullough, Jr.
(Ecco Press, Hardcover, 9780062257345, 316pp.)

Publication Date: April 2014

List Price: $21.99*
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Description

A profound expansion of David McCullough, Jr.'s popular commencement speech a call to arms against a prevailing, narrow, conception of success viewed by millions on YouTube You Are (Not) Special is a love letter to students and parents as well as a guide to a truly fulfilling, happy life.

Children today, says David McCullough high school English teacher, father of four, and son and namesake of the famous historian are being encouraged to sacrifice passionate engagement with life for specious notions of success. The intense pressure to excel discourages kids from taking chances, failing, and learning empathy and self-confidence from those failures.

In You Are (Not) Special, McCullough elaborates on his now-famous speech exploring how, for what purpose, and for whose sake, we're raising our kids. With wry, affectionate humor, McCullough takes on hovering parents, ineffectual schools, professional college prep, electronic distractions, club sports, and generally the manifestations, and the applications and consequences of privilege. By acknowledging that the world is indifferent to them, McCullough takes pressure off of students to be extraordinary achievers and instead exhorts them to roll up their sleeves and do something useful with their advantages.




About the Author
David McCullough, Jr.'s high school commencement address of 2012, dubbed "You Are Not Special," was a tonic for children, parents, and educators alike. With wit and a perspective earned from raising four children and teaching high school students for nearly thirty years, McCullough expands on his speech--taking a hard look at hovering parents, questionable educational goals, professional college prep, electronic distractions, and club sports--and advocates for a life of passionate engagement.
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