The Specter of Salem: Remembering the Witch Trials in Nineteenth-Century America [NOOK Book]

Overview

In The Specter of Salem, Gretchen A. Adams reveals the many ways that the Salem witch trials loomed over the American collective memory from the Revolution to the Civil War and beyond. Schoolbooks in the 1790s, for example, evoked the episode to demonstrate the new nation’s progress from a disorderly and brutal past to a rational present, while  critics of new religious movements in the 1830s cast them as a return to Salem-era fanaticism, and during the Civil War, southerners evoked witch burning to ...

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The Specter of Salem: Remembering the Witch Trials in Nineteenth-Century America

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Overview

In The Specter of Salem, Gretchen A. Adams reveals the many ways that the Salem witch trials loomed over the American collective memory from the Revolution to the Civil War and beyond. Schoolbooks in the 1790s, for example, evoked the episode to demonstrate the new nation’s progress from a disorderly and brutal past to a rational present, while  critics of new religious movements in the 1830s cast them as a return to Salem-era fanaticism, and during the Civil War, southerners evoked witch burning to criticize Union tactics. Shedding new light on the many, varied American invocations of Salem, Adams ultimately illuminates the function of collective memories in the life of a nation.

 

“Imaginative and thoughtful. . . . Thought-provoking, informative, and convincingly presented, The Specter of Salem is an often spellbinding mix of politics, cultural history, and public historiography.”— New England Quarterly

 

“This well-researched book, forgoing the usual heft of scholarly studies, is not another interpretation of the Salem trials, but an important major work within the scholarly literature on the witch-hunt, linking the hysteria of the period to the evolving history of the American nation. A required acquisition for academic libraries.”—Choice, Outstanding Academic Title 2009

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Editorial Reviews

New England Quarterly
An imaginative and thoughtful examination of the process by means of which memory is made and remade. . . . Thought-provoking, informative, and convincingly presented, The Specter of Salem is an often spellbinding mix of politics, cultural history, and public historiography.

— James M. Lindgren

Choice

2009 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

"An important major work within the scholarly literature on the witch-hunt, linking the hysteria of that period to the evolving history of the American nation."

New England Quarterly - James M. Lindgren

"An imaginative and thoughtful examination of the process by means of which memory is made and remade. . . . Thought-provoking, informative, and convincingly presented, The Specter of Salem is an often spellbinding mix of politics, cultural history, and public historiography."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226005423
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 11/15/2008
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 1,165,088
  • File size: 348 KB

Meet the Author

Gretchen A. Adams is associate professor of history at Texas Tech University.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction

 

Chapter 1. Mysteries, Memories, and Metaphors: From Event to Memory

Chapter 2. Memory and Nation: The Early Republic

Chapter 3. Not to Hell but to Salem: Antebellum Religious Crises

Chapter 4. Witch-Burners: The Politics of Sectionalism

Chapter 5. Witch-Hunters: The Era of Civil War and Reconstruction

 

Epilogue: The Crucible of Memory

Notes

Index

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