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You are watching: Salem possessed the social origins of witchcraft


Tormented girls writhing in agony, stern judges meting the end harsh verdicts, nineteen bodies swinging ~ above Gallows Hill.The distinguishable immediacy of what happened in 1692 has obscured the facility web of human being passion, individual and organized, which had actually been growing for an ext than a generation prior to the witch trials. Salem own explores the lives of the men and women who aided spin that web and who in the end found themselves entangled in it.From rich and varied sources—many previously neglected or unknown—Paul Boyer and also Stephen Nissenbaum offer us a snapshot of the events of 1692 an ext intricate and more fascinating than any kind of other in the already massive literature on Salem. “Salem Possessed,” created Robin Briggs in The time Literary Supplement, “reinterprets a world-famous episode so totally and convincingly that practically all the previous treatments have the right to be consigned come the historic lumber-room.”Not simply a dramatic and isolated event, the Salem outbreak has broader implications for our expertise of developments central to the American experience: the breakup of Puritanism, the pressures of floor and populace in new England towns, the difficulties besetting farmer and householder, the shifting function of the church, and the an effective impact of commercial capitalism.
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Product Details

Paul Boyer was Merle Curti Professor of background at the university of Wisconsin–Madison.Stephen Nissenbaum is a social historian.

Table the Contents

Preface Salem village in the ten Century: A Chronology Abbreviations provided in the note Prologue: What taken place in 1692 1. 1692: Some brand-new Perspectives 2. In pursuit of Community, 1639–1687 3. Afflicted Village, 1688–1697 4. Salem Town and also Salem Village: The Dynamics

Editorial Reviews

An important, imaginative book that brings brand-new insights to the research of the 1692 witchcraft outbreak in Massachusetts. Building on Charles Upham’s Salem Witchcraft (1867), Boyer and Nissenbaum explore years of ar tension and also conflict in bespeak to explain why Salem was the focus of this episode. The authors disclose a facility set of relationships between persons allied with the farming mercantile understand of Salem Town and those attached to the subsistence-based economic climate of far Salem Village.

Journal of women in culture and culture - Carol Karlsen

This short book is a solid donation to the expertise of the 1692 witch trials. The authors use impressively rich demographic information to support the thesis that the witch trials are finest explained as symptoms of typical social stress in provincial communities at the time. Follow to Boyer and Nissenbaum, Salem villagers play roles established by economic, geographic, and also status interests.

Canadian historic Review - Richard Ekman

The authors’ whole approach to the Salem disaster is canny, rewarding, and also sure come fascinate reader interested in the aberrant affair.

The Atlantic

This is an ‘inner history’ the Salem village that intends to raise the occasions of 1692 indigenous melodrama come tragedy… the is a big achievement. This book is progressive background at that is best, with brilliant insights, well-organized evidence, maps, and footnotes in ~ the bottom that the page.

American historical Review - Cedric B. Cowing

A provocative book. Drawing upon an impressive selection of unpublished local sources, Paul Boyer and also Stephen Nissenbaum carry out a challenging new interpretation of the outbreak of witchcraft in Salem Village. Castle argue the previous chroniclers erroneously divorce the tragic events of 1692 indigenous the long-term advance of the town and as such failed to realize that the witch trials were just one specifically violent thing in a series of local controversies dating earlier to the 1660s. In their repair of the socio-economic problems that added to the extreme factionalism in Salem Village, Boyer and also Nissenbaum have made a significant contribution to the social history of colonial brand-new England… have detailed us with a first-rate conversation of factionalism in a seventeenth-century brand-new England community. Their handling of economic, familial, and also spatial relationships within Salem village is both innovative and imaginative.

William and Mary Quarterly - T. H. Breen

An illuminating and also imaginative interpretation…of the social and also moral state that Salem town in 1692. Gives an admirable illustration that the general dominion that, in Old and brand-new England alike, much of the finest sociological background of the twenty century has actually only been made feasible by the antiquarian and genealogical understand of the nineteenth… This sensitive, intelligent, and well-written publication will certainly revive interest in the damaging happenings at Salem.

New York testimonial of publications - Keith Thomas

Salem own is a provocative book. Illustration upon an impressive variety of unpublished neighborhood sources, Paul Boyer and also Stephen Nissenbaum provide a daunting new interpretation of the outbreak the witchcraft in Salem Village… A significant contribution to the social background of colonial new England… advanced and imaginative.

William and also Many Quarterly

A huge achievement. This publication is progressive history at its an extremely best, through brilliant insights.

American historic Review

An illuminating and imaginative interpretation…of the social and moral state that Salem village in 1692. A sensitive, intelligent, and well-written book.

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New York review of Books

A provocative book. Drawing upon an impressive variety of unpublished regional sources, Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum provide a an overwhelming new interpretation of the outbreak that witchcraft in Salem Village. They argue that previous chroniclers erroneously divorce the tragic events of 1692 from the long-term advance of the town and as such failed to realize that the witch trials were simply one an especially violent thing in a series of local controversies dating back to the 1660s. In their repair of the socio-economic conditions that contributed to the intense factionalism in Salem Village, Boyer and also Nissenbaum have actually made a significant contribution come the social history of colonial new England… have listed us through a first-rate discussion of factionalism in a seventeenth-century new England community. Their taking care of of economic, familial, and also spatial relationships within Salem town is both advanced and imaginative.— T. H. Breen

William and also Mary Quarterly

An important, imaginative publication that brings brand-new insights come the study of the 1692 witchcraft outbreak in Massachusetts. Structure on Charles Upham"s Salem Witchcraft (1867), Boyer and also Nissenbaum explore years of neighborhood tension and conflict in stimulate to describe why Salem was the focus of this episode. The authors expose a complex set the relationships between persons allied with the farming mercantile understand of Salem Town and those connected to the subsistence-based economy of far Salem Village.— Carol Karlsen

Journal of women in culture and Society

This short book is a solid donation to the understanding of the 1692 witch trials. The authors usage impressively affluent demographic detail to assistance the thesis that the witch trials are finest explained together symptoms of common social emphasize in provincial communities at the time. According to Boyer and also Nissenbaum, Salem villagers played roles determined by economic, geographic, and also status interests.— Richard Ekman

Canadian historic Review

A big achievement. This publication is progressive background at its an extremely best, v brilliant insights.