The Salem Witch Trials

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Overview

Part of the enduring fascination of the Salem witch trials is the fact that, to date, no one theory has been able to fully explain the events that ravaged Salem in 1692. Countless causes, from ergot-infected rye to actual demonic posession, have been offered to explain why the accusations and erratic behavior of seven village girls left hundreds accused, over 20 dead, and the townspeople of eastern Massachusetts shaken. Through a multitude of resources, this authoritative reference guide explores the Salem Witchcraft episode, including the religious and political climate in Puritan New England, and accessibly summarizes the major interpretations of, and reactions to, the events, from the seventeenth century until the present day. Biographical sketches of each person central to the events—including afflicted girls, victims, ministers, and magistrates—add a human element, and primary document excerpts—including petitions, letters, and revealing testimony—give a firsthand glimpse of the proceedings in the players' own words. A chronology of events, a glossary of terms, an annotated bibliography, and over 25 photos make this a must-have resource for students of American history, criminal justice, gender issues, and culture.

A must-have for any student of American history, this resource gives a unique glimpse into the 17th century politics, religious culture, and gender issues that created the Salem witchcraft episode, and gives context to an impact that still resonates today, in everything from modern political life to popular culture.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Although more than 300 years have passed since they occurred, the Salem witch trials continue to command the interest of students, scholars, and the general public….Historian David Gross collects and reviews the evidence for these events….This assembledge of information and evidence allows the reader to draw their own conclusions regarding the witch trials. This collection on a perennially popular topic will serve high school, public, and academic audiences."

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Lawrence Looks at Books

"[T]he work deserves a place in public and college libraries."

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Booklist

"In his well-written balanced tome, the author includes interpretations of the trials from the earliest historians to late-20th-centuray analysis. An array of relevant and instructive black-and-white photos and illustrations enhances the text. Fifty court-related primary documents, selectively detailed biographies of key trial figures, an annotated bibliography of primary and secondary sources, and an accurate chronology, glossary, and index are all appended….[M]eticulously researched"

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School Library Journal

"This reference includes the comprehensive coverage that is so critical to an effective evaluation of any historical event….The chapters would provide a complete summary by themselves, but this book also includes a chronology of events, biographies of key figures involved, fifty primary source documents, a glossary of terms, an annotated bibliography, and a thorough index. Black and white photos and images of primary source documents enhance the text. An honest portrayal of the facts and evaluations of the Salem witch trials, this volume allows the reader to draw conclusions as to why these events happened. This book would be a great addition to any library. Recommended."

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Library Media Connection

"His examination of the trials' continuing effect is thought provoking…a book that adds a valuable perspective to an historical episode that still affects us today."

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ARBA

"As a reference guide on the Salem Witch Trials, this book fulfills its purpose. It concisely provides a variety of useful information for students who seek to understand the hunt in historical context."

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Sixteenth Century Journal

School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up- In order to give readers a broad foundation upon which to understand the social, historical, and psychological aspects of the trials, Goss provides a comprehensive examination of this intriguing subject, discussing the roots of the belief in witchcraft from the later Middle Ages through the 17th century, precedents in Britain and New England before 1692, and the Salem Witch trials from early 1692 through the end of May 1693 and beyond. In his well-balanced tome, the author includes interpretations of the trials from the earliest historians to late-20th-century analysis. An array of relevant and instructive black-and-white photos and illustrations enhances the text. Fifty court-related primary documents, selectively detailed biographies of key trial figures, an annotated bibliography of primary and secondary sources, and an accurate chronology, glossary, and index are all appended. This meticulously researched book would work well as a supplement to Marilynne K. Roach's outstanding The Salem Witch Trials (Cooper Square, 2002). Through the use of diaries, journals, and letters, Roach reconstructs daily life during the trials and examines historical details such as conflicts between church congregations and ministers and the origins of the hysteria in conflicts of the day.-Hillary Jan Donitz-Goldstein, formerly at New York Public Library

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313320958
  • Publisher: ABC-Clio, LLC
  • Publication date: 9/5/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 210
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

K. DAVID GOSS is Assistant Professor of History at Gordon College, specializing in American history and museum studies. His many published works include Cornerstones of Salem (2000) and Treasures of a Seaport Town (1998).

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2012

    Lol

    I might get it.... when i get a credit card lol

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2012

    Wow

    Itz EXPENSIVE

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2014

    Gee

    I wonder how many people bought this book...

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2014

    It so expensive beacuse it has real pictures

    Guys, its so expensive because it contans real pictureand evidencfrom salem ... and yeh, i dont dispute tha it is expensive.. it looks real good thouh although i could never afford that much for a book XD

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2013

    Holy cow

    Holy cow thats alot of money

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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