Reviews for Graduation Day : The Best of America's Commencement Speeches

Booklist Monthly Selections - #1 May 1998
In this collection of recent commencement speeches, all 35 orators query the purpose of a speech that most of them doubt their listeners will heed. Entertainers such as Jodie Foster or Sting apparently think accounts of their own careers are inspiring. Humorists Russell Baker and Garrison Keillor modestly advise graduates to get married and procreate. Dan Rather's refrain to the audience at Austin is the opaque slogan "The time to be a Texan . . . is now." (Do Texans have a choice?) Surprise is often a speech's most notable quality. Mario Cuomo famously addressed the parents of the graduates, not the graduates, about teaching their kids ethics. Colgate alumni anticipating a serve-humanity oration from Andy Rooney probably should have known that this professional complainer would give them an anticomputer tirade, but new alumni of Pomona got what they expected from actor Patrick Stewart: dilations on Shakespeare and Star Trek. An eclectic collection for the commencement season. ((Reviewed May 1, 1998)) Copyright 2000 Booklist Reviews