The World Is Waiting for You: Graduation Speeches to Live by from Activists, Writers, and Visionaries

Tara Grove (Editor) Isabel Ostrer (Editor)


Inspiring commencement speeches from Wynton Marsalis, Toni Morrison, Gloria Steinem, and others: "The perfect gift for grads-to-be" (O, The Oprah Magazine).

"The voices of conformity speak so loudly. Don't listen to them," acclaimed author and award-winning journalist Anna Quindlen cautioned graduates of Grinnell College. Jazz virtuoso and educator Wynton Marsalis advised new Connecticut College alums not to worry about being on time, but rather to be in time--because "time is actually your friend. He don't come back because he never goes away." And renowned physician and humanitarian Paul Farmer revealed at the University of Delaware his remarkable discovery--the new disease Empathy Deficit Disorder--and assured the commencers it could be cured.

The prescient, fiery feminism of Gloria Steinem sits parallel to that of celebrated writer Ursula K. Le Guin, who asks, "What if I talked like a woman right here in public?" Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison sagaciously ponders how people centuries from now will perceive our current times, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Barbara Kingsolver asks those born into the Age of Irony to "imagine getting caught with your Optimism hanging out" and implores us always to act and speak the truth.

With eighteen rousing graduation speeches, The World Is Waiting for You speaks to anyone who might take to heart the advice of Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards--"life as an activist, troublemaker, or agitator is a tremendous option and one I highly recommend"--and is the perfect gift for all who are ready to move their tassels to the left.

Product Details

$16.95  $15.59
New Press
Publish Date
April 01, 2015
5.3 X 0.9 X 7.6 inches | 0.7 pounds
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Tara Grove is the education editor at The New Press. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and lives in New York City. Isabel Ostrer is a recent graduate of Harvard University and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. They both went to college to figure out how they could make the world a more humane place to live.
List of Contributors/Speech Locations
Anna Quindlen - Grinnell College, 2011 (Grinnell, Iowa)
Wynton Marsalis - Connecticut College, 2001 (New London, Connecticut)
Barbara Kingsolver - Duke University, 2008 (Durham, North Carolina)
Marian Wright Edelman - Muhlenberg College, 2008 (Allentown, Pennsylvania)
Noam Chomsky - American University of Beirut, 2013 (Lebanon)
Toni Morrison - Rutgers University, 2011 (New Brunswick, New Jersey)
Gloria Steinem - Smith College, 2007 (Northampton, Massachusetts)
Tony Kushner - Vassar College, 2002 (Poughkeepsie, New York)
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - Kalamazoo College, 2009 (Kalamazoo, Michigan)
Paul Farmer - University of Delaware, 2013 (Newark, Delaware)
Martha Nussbaum - Connecticut College, 2009 (New London, Connecticut)
Oliver Stone - UCLA, 2009 (Los Angeles, California)
Paul Hawken - University of Portland, 2009 (Portland, Oregon)
Isabel Wilkerson - Bates College, 2014 (Lewiston, Maine)
Howard Zinn - Spelman College, 2005 (Atlanta, Georgia)
Cecile Richards - Barnard College, 2014 (New York, New York)
Theodore Shaw - Wesleyan University, 2014 (Middletown, Connecticut)
Ursula K. Le Guin - Mills College, 1983 (Oakland, California)


"The perfect gift for grads-to-be."
-O, The Oprah Magazine

"The perfect gift for grads-to-be."
O, The Oprah Magazine

"The perfect gift for grads-to-be."
O, The Oprah Magazine

"The perfect gift for grads-to-be."
-O, The Oprah Magazine