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You are watching: Salem possessed the social origins of witchcraft


Tormented girl writhing in agony, stern judges meting out harsh verdicts, nineteen bodies swinging on Gallows Hill.The distinguishable immediacy of what taken place in 1692 has obscured the complicated web of person passion, individual and organized, which had actually been growing for an ext than a generation before the witch trials. Salem possessed explores the resides of the men and also women who assisted spin that web and who in the end found themselves entangled in it.From rich and varied sources—many formerly neglected or unknown—Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum give us a photo of the occasions of 1692 much more intricate and an ext fascinating than any kind of other in the currently massive literary works on Salem. “Salem Possessed,” wrote Robin Briggs in The times Literary Supplement, “reinterprets a world-famous episode so fully and convincingly that virtually all the vault treatments can be consigned to the historic lumber-room.”Not merely a dramatic and also isolated event, the Salem outbreak has wider implications because that our expertise of developments central to the American experience: the breakup the Puritanism, the pressures of floor and populace in new England towns, the troubles besetting farmer and also householder, the shifting duty of the church, and also the powerful impact of advertising capitalism.
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Product Details

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

Table that Contents

Preface Salem town in the seventeenth Century: A Chronology Abbreviations provided in the notes Prologue: What happened in 1692 1. 1692: Some new Perspectives 2. In search of Community, 1639–1687 3. Afflicted Village, 1688–1697 4. Salem Town and also Salem Village: The Dynamics

Editorial Reviews

An important, imaginative publication that brings new insights to the study of the 1692 witchcraft outbreak in Massachusetts. Building on Charles Upham’s Salem Witchcraft (1867), Boyer and Nissenbaum explore years of neighborhood tension and also conflict in bespeak to define why Salem to be the focus of this episode. The authors expose a facility set of relationships between persons allied v the growing mercantile understanding of Salem Town and also those attached to the subsistence-based economic climate of far Salem Village.

Journal of females in society and culture - Carol Karlsen

This short book is a solid contribution to the knowledge of the 1692 witch trials. The authors usage impressively well-off demographic information to support the thesis the the witch trials are best explained as symptoms of common social emphasize in provincial towns at the time. Follow to Boyer and Nissenbaum, Salem villagers played roles figured out by economic, geographic, and also status interests.

Canadian historical Review - Richard Ekman

The authors’ whole method to the Salem catastrophe is canny, rewarding, and also sure come fascinate readers interested in that aberrant affair.

The Atlantic

This is an ‘inner history’ the Salem town that aims to raise the occasions of 1692 indigenous melodrama to tragedy… the is a large achievement. This publication is progressive background at that best, v brilliant insights, well-organized evidence, maps, and footnotes at the bottom that the page.

American historical Review - Cedric B. Cowing

A provocative book. Illustration upon one impressive variety of unpublished local sources, Paul Boyer and also Stephen Nissenbaum provide a an overwhelming new translate of the outbreak of witchcraft in Salem Village. Lock argue that previous historians erroneously divorce the tragic events of 1692 from the long-term breakthrough of the village and as such failed to realize that the witch trials were just one particularly violent thing in a collection of local controversies dating back to the 1660s. In their reconstruction of the socio-economic conditions that contributed to the extreme factionalism in Salem Village, Boyer and also Nissenbaum have actually made a significant contribution to the social background of colonial new England… have provided 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 sophisticated and imaginative.

William and Mary Quarterly - T. H. Breen

An illuminating and also imaginative interpretation…of the social and also moral state the Salem village in 1692. Provides an admirable illustration that the general dominance that, in Old and brand-new England alike, much of the ideal sociological background of the twentieth century has actually only been made possible by the antiquarian and also genealogical understand of the nineteenth… This sensitive, intelligent, and well-written publication will definitely revive attention in the devastating happenings at Salem.

New York review of publications - Keith Thomas

Salem own is a provocative book. Drawing upon one impressive selection of unpublished local sources, Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum provide a difficult new interpretation of the outbreak the witchcraft in Salem Village… A major contribution come the social background of colonial brand-new England… advanced and imaginative.

William and Many Quarterly

A large achievement. This publication is progressive background at its very best, v brilliant insights.

American historical Review

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

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New York testimonial of Books

A provocative book. Drawing upon one impressive range of unpublished neighborhood sources, Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum administer a an overwhelming new interpretation of the outbreak the witchcraft in Salem Village. Lock argue the previous historians erroneously divorce the tragic events of 1692 native the long-term breakthrough of the village and as such failed come realize the the witch trials were just one particularly violent thing in a series of regional controversies dating back to the 1660s. In their restoration of the socio-economic problems that contributed to the extreme factionalism in Salem Village, Boyer and also Nissenbaum have actually made a major contribution come the social background of colonial brand-new England… have noted us v a first-rate conversation of factionalism in a seventeenth-century new England community. Their handling of economic, familial, and spatial relationships within Salem town is both advanced and imaginative.— T. H. Breen

William and also Mary Quarterly

An important, imaginative publication that brings new insights come the examine of the 1692 witchcraft outbreak in Massachusetts. Building on Charles Upham\"s Salem Witchcraft (1867), Boyer and also Nissenbaum explore decades of community tension and also conflict in stimulate to define why Salem to be the focus of this episode. The authors disclose a facility set that relationships in between persons allied with the growing mercantile interests of Salem Town and also those attached to the subsistence-based economic climate of outlying Salem Village.— Carol Karlsen

Journal of females in society and Society

This short book is a solid donation to the knowledge of the 1692 witch trials. The authors use impressively well-off demographic information to assistance the thesis the the witch trials are finest explained together symptoms of typical social emphasize in provincial communities at the time. Follow to Boyer and also Nissenbaum, Salem villagers play roles established by economic, geographic, and status interests.— Richard Ekman

Canadian historic Review

A huge achievement. This publication is progressive history at its very best, with brilliant insights.