The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade Chapter Abstracts for Teachers

Thomas Lynch
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Chapter 1, The Undertaking

• Thomas Lynch was the only undertaker in his hometown of Milford, Michigan.

• Lynch buried a few hundred of his fellow townspeople each year.

• Lynch predicted the market based on a crude death rate.

• Two-thirds of the dead were elderly, 5% children, and 2.5 were baby boomers.

• People assumed Lynch was fascinated by death, but it was simply a job to him.

• Lynch described the embalming process in the death of Milo Hornsby.

• The author believes that when people die, nothing happens to them in an afterlife.

Chapter 2, Gladstone

• Lynch attended an undertakers' conference in the Lesser Antilles.

• Lynch reminisced about his father opening the family's funeral home.

• Lynch's father frequently quoted the 19th century British prime minister, William Gladstone.

• Gladstone believed the character of a people could be found in how they treated the dead.

• Lynch's father died three years earlier.

• Lynch picked up his father's body...

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