Hallow This Ground

Hallow This Ground Beginning outside the boarded up windows of Columbine High School and ending almost twelve years later on the fields of Shiloh National Military Park Hallow This Ground revolves around monuments and

  • Title: Hallow This Ground
  • Author: Colin Rafferty
  • ISBN: 9780253019073
  • Page: 370
  • Format: Paperback
  • Beginning outside the boarded up windows of Columbine High School and ending almost twelve years later on the fields of Shiloh National Military Park, Hallow This Ground revolves around monuments and memorials physical structures that mark the intersection of time and place In the ways they invite us to interact with them, these sites teach us to recognize our ties to theBeginning outside the boarded up windows of Columbine High School and ending almost twelve years later on the fields of Shiloh National Military Park, Hallow This Ground revolves around monuments and memorials physical structures that mark the intersection of time and place In the ways they invite us to interact with them, these sites teach us to recognize our ties to the past Colin Rafferty explores places as familiar as his hometown of Kansas City and as alien as the concentration camps of Poland in an attempt to understand not only our common histories, but also his own past, present, and future Rafferty blends the travel essay with the lyric, the memoir with the analytic, in this meditation on the ways personal histories intersect with History, and how those intersections affect the way we understand and interact with Place.

    One thought on “Hallow This Ground”

    1. In these essays Rafferty has built his own monument--to myth, to memory, to the steady line of time (past and future)--mining fact and imagination, melding humanity's larger History with a smaller, yet, equally powerful, personal history. Layered with moments of divine introspection and prose that plays with the best part of elegy and grace, Rafferty bookends his collection with the boy he once was and the man he's become. A beautiful collection.

    2. This collection originally made it to our shelves because the author, Mr. Rafferty, teaches at my wife and I's alma mater. After reading Hallow This Ground, I can safely say that any fan of memoir, essay, or recent American/European history would be lucky to have it on their shelf, regardless of where they studied. After just a brief glance, and hearing that the work was organized around the theme of 'memorial,' I thought this book would be along similar line's to Assassination Vacation (a book [...]

    3. I had high hopes for this book as it called to me for many reasons. Its geography, its history, its personal writingbut I found myself wanting more of the monument and less of Rafferty and I seemed to get the opposite while reading. It's a decent book, but it doesn't go far enough into depth on its purpose: to examine why we build monuments and memorials and our relations to them. It seemed as if he wanted to write about his life and throw some travel writing in to liven it up. It's fine, it's j [...]

    4. Rafferty's personal journey really resonated with me, as I've often fixated on other people's tragedies when my life seemed too boring and untragic. I really liked how fresh some of these over-told and over explored tragedies felt. Each essay wove together so many interesting pieces that I was easily immersed and quickly consumed this work. There's something of interest for everyone in this.

    5. In essays that take us from the field where flight 93 crashed on 9/11 to a bumpy road between two concentration camps at Treblinka, Colin Rafferty contemplates the personal in the public memorials marking some of history’s most tragic events. Part memoir, part new journalism, part lyric, and part immersion, Hallow This Ground is more than a collection of essays. Rafferty leads the reader to a complete whole as thematic ties bind these essays together even as, individually, they stand alone. At [...]

    6. The writing in Hallow this Ground puts you in the moment. As the author travels from place to place, scene to scene- I went along for the ride (the Abraham Lincoln chapter was my favorite!) The informational component was so well done in combination with the emotional that I cried, laughed, scoffed, hmm'ed, learned, and ultimately thoroughly enjoyed Hallow this Ground. Would recommend.

    7. This is a beautiful book, with stunning, lyrical prose. The essays are about monuments and memorials, and thus about memory and remembering, and why and how and where we choose remember, and what marks our memories, and our personal memories intersect an with history and with place.Rafferty begins with Columbine and its library where ten students died (two more outside the building), and then the shooters themselves. When Rafferty goes by there, the library was in the process of being destroyed. [...]

    8. I wanted to read this book because, having known Colin Rafferty for some years, I know well his compulsion to visit sites of disaster and tragedy. But I finished this book and have been keeping it in my head because the book is extraordinary, both timeless and of-the-moment. In these essays, Rafferty visits sites of tragedies including concentration camps, the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, an Columbine High School. Throughout, he deftly presents the public, known history of these sites while p [...]

    9. This book is smart and full of important insights on history and life. It's also everything good essay-writing should be. My favorite passage: "Allow the monument to become the history. Believe in the kiss on my cheek. Believe the words on the plaque at my feet. Because if we relied on facts instead of stories, we'd never know where to stand; never know where our heroes were born or where they lie buried; never know where we were or where we are."

    10. Linked essays about various types of monuments and memorials. Very thoughtful, lyric at times, powerful in a subtle way.

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