The Last Lecture
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The Last Lecture

4.4 348
by Randy Pausch
     
 

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"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand."—-Randy Pausch

A lot of professors give talks titled "The Last Lecture." Professors are asked to consider their demise and to ruminate on what matters most to them. And while they speak, audiences can't help but mull the same question: What wisdom would we impart to the world if

Overview

"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand."—-Randy Pausch

A lot of professors give talks titled "The Last Lecture." Professors are asked to consider their demise and to ruminate on what matters most to them. And while they speak, audiences can't help but mull the same question: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance? If we had to vanish tomorrow, what would we want as our legacy?

When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give such a lecture, he didn't have to imagine it as his last, since he had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. But the lecture he gave—"Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams"—wasn't about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because "time is all you have...and you may find one day that you have less than you think"). It was a summation of everything Randy had come to believe. It was about living.

In this book, Randy Pausch has combined the humor, inspiration and intelligence that made his lecture such a phenomenon and given it an indelible form. It is a book that will be shared for generations to come.

Editorial Reviews

Over the years, numerous professors have given talks entitled "The Last Lecture." For Carnegie Mellon University professor Randy Pausch, however, the topic was no mere formality. When he presented his "last lecture" to hundreds of faculty and students last September, he already knew that he had metastatic pancreatic cancer. Despite a grim prognosis, Dr. Pausch delivered an upbeat, urgent call for his listeners to achieve their childhood dreams. Since then, this good-natured computer science specialist has become a worldwide celebrity; named "Person of the Week" by ABC News and invited to be a guest on Oprah. This memoir recounts the story of a brave man's encounter with a sense of his own mortality. An inspiring message for anyone who ages.
Publishers Weekly

Made famous by his "Last Lecture" at Carnegie Mellon and the quick Internet proliferation of the video of the event, Pausch decided that maybe he just wasn't done lecturing. Despite being several months into the last stage of pancreatic cancer, he managed to put together this book. The crux of it is lessons and morals for his young and infant children to learn once he is gone. Despite his sometimes-contradictory life rules, it proves entertaining and at times inspirational. Surprisingly, the audiobook doesn't include the reading of Pausch's actual "Last Lecture," which he gave on September 18, 2007, a month after being diagnosed. Erik Singer provides an excellent inflective voice that hints at the reveries of past experiences with family and children while wielding hope and regret for family he will leave behind. The first CD is enhanced with photos. Simultaneous release with the Hyperion hardcover. (May)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781401323257
Publisher:
Hachette Books
Publication date:
04/08/2008
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
694
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 7.25(h) x 0.87(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Randy Pausch was a Professor of Computer Science, Human-Computer Interaction, and Design at Carnegie Mellon, where he was the co-founder of Carnegie Mellon's Entertainment Technology Center (ETC). He was a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator and a Lilly Foundation Teaching Fellow. He had sabbaticals at Walt Disney Imagineering and Electronic Arts (EA), and consulted with Google on user interface design. Dr. Pausch received his bachelors in Computer Science from Brown University and his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University. He was the director of the Alice (www.alice.org) software project, and had traveled in zero-gravity. He lived with his wife, Jai, and their three young children in Virginia.

Jeff Zaslow wrote the Wall Street Journal column that fueled the initial interest in Randy Pausch's lecture. He is also the co-author of Captain Chesley Sullenberger's The Highest Duty and the author of The Girls from Ames, both bestsellers.

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The Last Lecture (Enhanced Edition) 4.4 out of 5 based on 2 ratings. 349 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book for a class and instantly loved it! This book is so motivational and inspired me to live each day to its potential because life is a gift. Randy put so much of himself into this that i felt like i truly got to know him. I took so many life lessons away from this humerous read and it continues to inspire me months after i read it. This will stay with you forever and may even change your outlook on life. This is simply amazing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I lovethis book. It taught me a lot about life. I wwould reccommend this book for all teenagers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
At the time of reading my father was passing away from.cancer. It truely touched my heart in so many ways. Very easy read and inspiring. Filled with life like experiences he went through.
RobinMacBlane More than 1 year ago
"The Last Lecture" is very inspriational and heart-felt. I find it very refreshing to hear someone's true story and that that person wants to share his experience for the betterment of all. So sorry that the circumstances of his writing came about because of his terminal illness. That is why this story is so inspirational. Most of the time people do not use their time to the greatest benefit, become slack, and then, when it's almost too late, does the person then try to cram in a lifetime of everything into a few precious moments. Use time wisely and lovingly. May God Bless.
Brittany_Ptrs 23 days ago
My review on The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch is by no means revelatory as it is an older book with countless reviews out there. However, I read it this summer and feel compelled to add my thoughts to the ever-growing conversation about Pausch’s life advice. I think I’ll start with how I was introduced to The Last Lecture. My father is a professor at a liberal arts college and every year the college professors gather together to choose a book for the incoming freshman to read and discuss during their freshman orientation class. The book is supposed to be one that will help the freshmen become better people and provide a guide to help them navigate difficult college years and beyond with grace. One particular year, this book was chosen. My dad was impressed with the book enough to recommend it to me and I’m slightly embarrassed that it has taken me this long to finally read, but it was well worth it. To be honest, there is not really any new ground covered or discussed in The Last Lecture. To put it in a nutshell, Pausch is asking his audience to live a full life however they see fit and to find enjoyment. This is hardly new ground. I think what makes it so special is that somewhere during his speech, the reader realizes that Pausch is not really speaking solely to the students or faculty. This lecture is really an organized effort to help him impart lessons and a piece of him into the future for his children to better understand their father and how deep his love is for them and their mother. (This is sort of a professor’s version of a last words video, but professors for some reason feel that they always have to impart their knowledge to a larger audience and with a slide show. Trust me, I know. This was how my own father raised me!) Once that realization sets in, the reader can’t help but to find his stories and words even more poignant and touching. This isn’t just advice Pausch is giving a lecture hall or two full of people. The lecture is his legacy to his children. It’s a way they can be comforted by him even after he left this world. I felt this piece of writing was well written, entertaining, and helpful. My favorite part of the book is when he says that he hopes his children don’t become what he wants them to be, because he wants them to be what they want to be and where their talents and interests lead them. This is a bit of advice that I will carry with me as I continue to raise my own children. Well done, Sir. May you rest in peace.
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Didnt like it. Confusing. I want to refund this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The least popular book ever and this was first...
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A book that I can go to anytime I need a jolt of uplifting or inspiration! We should all be as positive as Randy Pausch lived!
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I read it when I was 17 in my Senior year of High School while I was having a rough time with my life. After reading this, everything in my life changed to a whole new perspective and I am so grateful for it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so amazing, it my faavorite nonfiction book and in my over all top five. This book will really touch your heart
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was an amazing book! I loved everything about it. Its sad but phenomonal. Recommened for everybody!!!!!