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The Last Lecture
     

The Last Lecture

by Randy Pausch, Jeffrey Zaslow
 
"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

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:
9788952209245
Publisher:
Salrim Life
Publication date:
06/28/2008
Pages:
286
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Randy Pausch was a Professor of Computer Science, Human Computer Interaction, and Design at Carnegie Mellon University. From 1988-1997, he taught at the University of Virginia. He was an award-winning teacher and researcher, and worked with Adobe, Google, Electronic Arts (EA), and Walt Disney Imagineering, and pioneered the Alice project. Although Pausch lost his cancer battle on July 25, 2008, his legacy lives on through The Last Lecture.

Jeffrey Zaslow, a columnist for The Wall Street Journal, attended the last lecture, and wrote the story that helped fuel worldwide interest in it. He lives in suburban Detroit with his wife, Sherry, and daughters Jordan, Alex and Eden.

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