expansion of David McCullough, Jr.’s popular commencement speech—a call to arms
against a prevailing, narrow, conception of success—You Are Not Special is a love letter to students and parents as
well as a guide to a truly fulfilling, happy life.
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, 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. Download and start listening now!