WellesleyWeston Magazine


Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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Page 65 of 203

WellesleyWeston: Were you surprised at the response you received to your commencement speech to the Wellesley High School Class of 2012? David McCullough, Jr.: I sincerely thought I was speaking only to the people sitting in front of me. I had no idea that the electronic world was watching nor would I have thought that they would care about what I would have to say. But within a few days I was international headlines. It was jarring. A middle-aged, mild-mannered English teacher doesn't expect limousines in his driveway or TV cameras aimed at him. WWM: How did the idea for a book come about? DM: In the wake of the speech I got a thousand emails among which were inquiries from book publishers and agents. I thought it would be gratifying to expand on the ideas in my speech, so my wife and I went down to New York. We met with the agents that seemed the right fit professionally and personally. Among them, we liked one very much, and she said go write a ten- to twelve-page proposal about the kind of book you would like to write, which I did. Sixteen publishers were interested in the book, so my agent narrowed the list to ten and over a three-day period we went on a whirlwind tour of Manhattan sky- scrapers to meet with the publishers. We rushed from meeting to meeting, sometimes speaking to two to three people and sometimes fifteen people at a time. When it was all over, every publisher was interested, so my agent put my book out to bid and happily the highest bidder was also my favorite among the group. We shook hands and I started writing. That was in August and in March I sent a first draft to New York and then we went back and forth with editing. 64 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | s u m m e r 2 0 1 4 an interview with david mccullough, jr. "The perfect metaphor for how kids are being raised today is the car seat. They are protected, they're driven, and they are aimed in one direction." 060-069_WWMb14_f2f_McCullough_v4_WWM_interview 4/24/14 2:12 PM Page 64

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