Synopses & Reviews
"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.
"I defy you to finish it without a box of tissues. Friendly in tone, this book is light-hearted but not as willfully jokey as the lecture....The text focuses more cleanly on the nitty-gritty of making a good life." Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Throughout the book, the author is frank about his emotions but never maudlin....I'm grateful that Randy Pausch chose to do his last lecture, and that through this book we can share it too." BookReporter.com
"The book isn't just a compendium of life lessons. It also contains surprisingly honest stories of his upbringing, how he met and wooed his wife, Jai, and why each of his children is special to him." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
About the Author
Randy Pausch was a Professor of Computer Science, Human Computer Interaction, and Design at Carnegie Mellon University. He was an award-winning teacher and researcher, worked with Adobe, Google, Electronic Arts (EA), and Walt Disney Imagineering, and pioneered the Alice
project. He passed away on July 25, 2008, of pancreatic cancer.
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.