Dante Cosentino to launch ‘Pride and Memory’ at book signing Saturday
Retired Ramona High teacher Dante Cosentino has lived the quintessential American experience, seeing and partaking in some of the most pivotal moments of the nation’s history and living through some of its most crucial periods.
His book, “Pride and Memory,” is a memoir that tells the true story of the son of a poor immigrant family growing up in one of the wealthiest towns in the United States and embarking on a quest for identity and a shot at the American Dream. He will sign copies of his book at Unicorn Books and Gifts, 738 Main St., on Saturday, Nov. 23, at 3 p.m.
While driving across the United States with his 16-year-old son some years ago, Cosentino told his son stories of his life experiences. One was about participating in the Martin Luther King Jr. March the day after King’s assassination, a tense event where the demonstrators were surrounded by military forces.
Cosentino’s son made him realize how little his own son knew about him, and that his experiences must be recollected and shared for not only posterity’s sake, but also to develop a better appreciation for America’s past.
“Pride and Memory” traces Cosentino’s life through some of the most important events in recent American history. Seen through the lens of the son of immigrants — and spanning more than three quarters of a century, taking place across the nation as well as Europe — it shows the defects and possibilities of the American Dream.
A Ramona resident since 1976, Cosentino taught at Ramona High School for 20 years before serving on the Ramona school board. Cosentino was born in Greenwich, Conn., to Italian immigrant parents. He worked many jobs, from drill press operator to college professor, and served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War.
He studied at Wayne State University, the New School for Social Research, Hunter College, San Francisco State University, San Diego State University and the University of California Santa Barbara, receiving his bachelor’s degree from San Francisco State and earning four master’s degrees. He finished all the course work for a doctorate in philosophy at UCSB.
Cosentino’s work has been published in poetry magazines, and his essay on self deception was published in a professional philosophy journal.
“For me, it’s lifelong learning,” he says. “I’m a believer in lifelong learning.”
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