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Commencement Address, Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre, Pa., 27 May. In a speech of approximately 1,000 words, Mailer focused on the Cold War and the way it affected the lives of nearly all Americans over the past 40 years. “Looking back on it,” he said,
|“||we were like magnetic filings in the power of a huge electromagnet, the Cold War, and almost all of us pointed in the same direction. When the Cold War ended, it was as if the great switch on this huge electromagnet was released and now all the fragments went in all directions.||”|
Mailer ended his speech by challenging the graduates “to anticipate the glorious, and exciting, and fearful, and incredible days and years that await you.” Rpt: His speech appeared, in part, over the next few days in an Associated Press story in at least 70 newspapers. Longer reports of his speech appeared in the (Scranton, Pa.) Sunday Times, 28 May, Sec. B, pp. 11, 13; the (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.) Citizens’ Voice, 28 May, 5, 18; the (Hazelton, Pa.) Standard-Speaker, 30 May; and the Wilkes University Alumni Journal, July-August, 3. See 95.21.