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NEW YORK, NY, March 06, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Professor Silvio Laccetti began his distinguished college-teaching career in the mid-1960s, when he was just a few years older than his senior students.
As a professor of History and Social Sciences at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J., a campus with spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline, Laccetti spent four decades educating future engineers, technology innovators and captains of American industry about the historical linkages between their technical fields of study and the larger issues confronting an increasingly globalized culture.
Later in his university career, and especially following the events of September 11, 2001, Laccetti began to publish an impressive stream of compelling columns for national newspapers, syndicated first through Knight-Ridder News Service, and subsequently through McClatchy-Tribune News Service, among other distribution channels
For the first time, Laccetti has assembled into one volume 60 of these columns, under the title "An American Commentary: Social Problems that Changed America in the 21st Century" (Commonwealth Books LLC, 209 pages, available at qjbooks.com, or through Amazon.com).
Covering a wide range of contemporary topics, the essays are organized into six broad categories, including Education, American Culture, Globalism, Economics, Politics and 9/11.
Laccetti showcases these essays, published between 2001-2013, with spot-on follow-up commentaries that frequently illuminate his prescient views on issues such as the increasing domination of our private (and public) lives by technological connectivity. This hindsight/foresight approach greatly enriches the opinion genre. Essays such as "The Lost Art of Writing" (co-authored with an undergrad student) and "American History is Disappearing" are powerful - yet surprisingly humorous - testaments to the degradation of coherent communication, wisdom and memory in an era of instantaneous mass connection through telecommunications and computers. Laccetti speaks with a wistful authority and the cutting wit of one who has watched and analyzed these encroaching phenomena over the decades.
"Silvio Laccetti may be a professor, but he doesn't write like one, and that's his strength," writes Barbara Drake, former editorial-page editor of the Peoria Journal-Star, in an opening testimonial in the book. "He uses simple sentences and descriptive words. He proves his points with concrete examples. He is a terrific storyteller ... When I was reading the many potential op-ed pieces that passed through my hands each week, few made me ignore the ringing phone the way Silvio Laccetti's did. I figured our readers would do likewise."
Indeed, readers will agree with Ms. Drake (and ten other editor testimonials included in the book) that "An American Commentary" is an important contribution to American opinion journalism, offering an urbane witness to manifold cultural shifts at the dawn of a new century.
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