Autobiography: Hope for the Future

Nick Starace has presented us with his autobiography; the story of his life interwoven with his interaction with the sea. In his autobiography he has recounted the extraordinary life of a mariner with briny blood in his veins and a character as straight as the masthead. Nick's education at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, his service as an officer on the legendary ocean liner, the SS United States, along with building leviathan supertankers around the world, have provided grist for many a fine yarn.

Nick's autobiography takes us through the halcyon days of America's nationhood and into the era of faceless globalization where our national identity has been effaced in a universal marketplace for oligarchs. His social, political and economic analyses are always interesting and well reasoned. Were I a professor of Contemporary American Studies, Nick Starace's autobiography would be an important part of my syllabus for the senior colloquium.

A great autobiography improves its readers, expanding horizons and deepening understanding. Nick Starace's autobiography tells us a great deal about America and the world in the second half of the twentieth century and beyond. When our protagonist begins his autobiography before World War II the United States of America was a nation possessed of a democratic ideal yet firmly anchored in European culture. The evolutionary process that followed was the strongest, most industrious and most innovative nation state on the planet.

Nick Starace's autobiography gives us hope for the future and consequently the strength to soldier on. His life fraught with challenges, obstacles, tragedy and triumph teaches us that we as individuals and as a society can persevere and carve out a positive future. Nick learns from his experiences and confirms the validity of the fundamental verities on which America was built. It is enlightening to read his book. I am deeply honored to have been asked to write the foreword to this important autobiography of a great man with real class.

John Kuhn Bleimaier
Author, White Sails Foreword