Non-Book Review: Rag Man, Rag Man

Rag Man, Rag Man, by Michael J. Lacivita

I got this book yesterday from the Naval Historial Institute, for a scholarly book review [1] and from what I can see so far, this looks to be a memoir by someone with a fair amount of (mostly local) journalistic experience. The author himself, from the letters that are included, is about 90 years old and wants to see his book published and back in print (as it is out of print at present) before he dies. Included in the book that was sent to me were a few letters from the author as well as from the Naval Historical Institute, which add to the interest of the book as far as I am concerned, especially because one of the letters contains a note to me from the person who sends me books that is asking my thoughts on whether this book should be reprinted by the Naval Institute Press or whether the author should pursue self-publishing through This adds a bit of intrigue to my review, as it comes with a recommendation for a business decision, which means I will be viewing this book not only for its own quality, but also for what I would judge as its marketability.

From what I can see from the book so far, the book calls itself a collection of personal essays, but in reality it appears to be more like a somewhat conventional memoir in four chapters, dealing with family history (Italian origin), a rough childhood during the Great Depression, experiences as a navy man (which would account for the potential interest of the Naval Historical Press in this account), as well as his postwar life. Given the rapid aging and departure of our World War II generation, if this is a well-written and gripping story, I would think that it would be of interest to add to the historiography of WWII memoirs. Although this is not necessarily my favorite part of history, it is an area I enjoy reading about from time to time [2], and as I read a lot of memoirs as well, and come from Western Pennsylvania (this author is from Eastern Ohio, not that far away), I look forward to reading the review and see whether its style and approach is one that I think many others will enjoy as well.


[2] See, for example:

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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