David McCullough Jr. has inked a book deal with HarperCollins’ Ecco imprint for a book based on his high school commencement speech, “You Are Not Special” (video embedded above).
McCullough Jr. is an English teacher and the son of historian David McCullough. His speech criticized our national focus on being special, explaining that “life is a great adventure to swallow whole rather than a checklist to complete.” McCormick & Williams agent Amy Williams negotiated the deal with executive editor Hilary Redmon. Publication is tentatively set for fall 2013.
Here’s an excerpt from the speech that earned 1.6 million views on YouTube: “You’re not special. You’re not exceptional; contrary to what your U9 soccer trophy suggests, your glowing seventh grade report card; despite every assurance of a certain corpulent purple dinosaur, that nice Mister Rogers and your batty Aunt Sylvia. No matter how often your maternal caped crusader has swooped in to save you, you are nothing special. Yes, you’ve been pampered, cosseted, doted upon, helmeted, bubble-wrapped.”