Remembering America: Looking Back at the Last Innocent Age Reviewed By Gordon Osmond of
Gordon Osmond

Reviewer Gordon Osmond : Gordon is a produced and award-winning playwright and author of: So You Think You Know English--A Guide to English for Those Who Think They Don't Need One, Wet Firecrackers--The Unauthorized Autobiography of Gordon Osmond and his debut novel Slipping on Stardust.

He has reviewed books and stageplays for and for the Bertha Klausner International Literary Agency. He is a graduate of Columbia College and Columbia Law School and practiced law on Wall Street for many years before concentrating on writing fiction and non-fiction. You can find out more about Gordon by clicking HERE

Gordon can also be heard on the Electic Authors Showcase.

By Gordon Osmond
Published on July 30, 2013

Author: Craig Daliessio

Publisher:The Morgan Group

ISBN: 978-0-9845336-6-4

Author: Craig Daliessio

Publisher:The Morgan Group

ISBN: 978-0-9845336-6-4

A great fault of a reviewer is to critique a book which the critic wishes the author had written rather than the one the author actually wrote. I confess to this inclination as I read Craig Daliessio’s leisurely stroll down the lane of his growing up memories. His forthright title is completely clear. This is a book of remembrance, and if analysis or evaluation sneaks in, it’s almost a matter of accident.

The America Daliessio remembers is the period of his youth, roughly the couple of decades preceding the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan. As it happens that was my growing up time as well, and I find no fault with his account although I take on faith his recollections of baseball and other happenings that were not in the crosshairs of my concerns.

The book is unyieldingly chronological. It’s really more of a diary than a memoir. There is a profusion of proper names, almost all of which will be totally unknown to the general reader. The introduction of themes rather than bare facts is reserved for the final pages of the book, where the author bemoans the lack of neighborhood, friendship, and sharing in contemporary society.

There’s no contesting the author’s observations. Of course, particularly in urban settings, people tend to be more isolated and less prone to cup-of-sugar sharing than in the past. And young children’s preference for the computer over the playground is hardly debatable. Daliessio, perhaps correctly, views this as totally negative. Descriptions of the trade-off, e.g., greater technological sophistication, the ready access to information, and the lack of inhibition which anonymous cyber-communication facilitates are given no space. The fact that these technological developments have set traditional parent-child relations on their head is also not explored.

While the author is chronically in his early years, there is a reference to a stepfather. Forgive me, but I was much more curious about the fate of the author’s biological father than I was in the author’s conclusory opinions of sports heroes and TV personalities of the day. Only in the final pages of the book does the reader learn that the author is much more than a sentimental raconteur.

Several welcomed times the author strays from describing things as “neat” to:

We ran out of childhood before we found our answers”

“…the prison of upward mobility…”

Great stuff. How about digging a bit deeper in this turf?

Speaking of innocence, the copy of the book furnished to me displayed a total absence of professional editing. Hopefully, that’s been fixed in later versions of this well-intentioned, but ultimately somewhat specific and simplistic recollection of life in what everyone can conjure up as the “good old days.”

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