Lincoln's Elegy at Gettysburg
Kent Gramm
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 11/09/2001
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 978-0-253-34032-0
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It begins with the search for hallowed ground, the exact place from which Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address. In bleak November, Kent Gramm makes a pilgrimage to the most famous battleground in American history and over the course of a month transforms his search into a discovery of the meaning of Lincoln’s elegy for America’s identity.

For Gramm, the century that began with Lincoln’s address and ended with the assassinations of the 1960s saw the destruction of the 'modern' world and with it America’s sense of purpose. The book reflects on the November anniversaries of public events such as the Armistice that ended World War One, Kristallnacht, the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the death of C. S. Lewis, the first major battle of the Vietnam War, and the publication of Robert F. Kennedy’s To Seek a Newer World, and also on private events in Gramm’s family history, provide the occasions for Gramm’s meditations on public and private heroism, on modernism’s hopes and postmodern despair. In November, he asks us to seek a path toward the 'new birth of freedom' that Lincoln envisioned at Gettysburg.

The month begins with things that perish. But ultimately, November is a journey of hope, as was Lincoln’s journey to Gettysburg. So too I will journey to Gettysburg in these pages. Like Lincoln’s fellow citizens, I go there to assuage personal grief, to find answers; and I hope, for me as for them, that my personal sorrows become a vehicle for larger answers and a larger purpose. Lincoln addressed their grief, why not mine; he gave his generation purpose, why not ours."

Author Bio

Kent Gramm is Program Director of the Seminary Ridge Historical Preservation Foundation and author of Gettysburg: A Meditation on War and Values and Somebody’s Darling: Essays on the Civil War, forthcoming from Indiana University Press.


“A remembrance of Lincoln's days of November 1863, when he wrote and delivered the Gettysburg address, sets the stage for a remembrance of other November days, among them the Armistice ending World War I; Kristallnacht, initiating the Holocaust; and the assassination of John F. Kennedy. NOVEMBER seeks to relate private and public heroism in a search for America's identity.”

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Table of Contents

Preliminary Table of Contents:

Nov. 1: Years Ago (All Saints)
Nov. 2: Our Fathers (L. L.)
Nov. 3: Brought Forth (Pen and Sword)
Nov. 4: In Vain (Lycidas)
Nov. 5: The Living and the Dead (Character)
Nov. 9: Never Forget (Nights of Broken Glass)
Nov. 11: Long Endure (Armistice Day)
Nov. 14: The Brave Men (Ia Drang)
Nov. 15: A Great Civil War (Virginia Wade)
Nov. 16: Final Resting Place (Sanctuary)
Nov. 17: What We Say Here (The Other Address)
Nov. 18: We Have Come to Dedicate (The Visitor)
Nov. 19: The Gettysburg Address
Nov. 20 That Cause (Confederate Rose)
Nov. 21: The World Will Little Note (Futility)
Nov. 22: A Larger Sense (Dallas and Oxford)
Nov. 23: For Us, the Living (Weep No More)
Nov. 24: The Last Full Measure of Devotion (Ulysses)
Nov. 25: Unfinished Work (JFK)
Nov. 26: Shall Not Perish (Beautiful and Brave)
Nov. 27: Highly Resolve (Thanksgiving)
Nov. 28: These Honored Dead (Elegy)
Nov. 29: Under God (Winter Saturday)
Nov. 30: New Birth (Advent)
Appendix I: Modernism and Postmodernism
Appendix II: Lycidas
Appendix III: Elegy Written in a Country Church-Yard
Appendix IV: Anthem for Doomed Youth