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Download A Delusion Of Satan: The Full Story Of The Salem Witch Trials eBook

by Karen Armstrong,Frances Hill

Download A Delusion Of Satan: The Full Story Of The Salem Witch Trials eBook
Karen Armstrong,Frances Hill
Da Capo Press; unknown edition (June 2002)
288 pages
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If you use both, you may wisht to read Hill through, checking facts and opinions were necessary against Roach.

A Delusion of Satan book . I recommend strongly that you skip the introduction by Karen Armstrong, which includes such unexamined sentences as: "What Frances Hill's book shows so clearly is that bad religion can be as destructive as the most virulent atheism.

Discipline, morality, and intellectual rigor-these are all attributes that Puritanism bequeathed to the New World.

Frances Hill talks on US TV about how Salem became Witch City.

Frances Hill, Karen Armstrong

Frances Hill, Karen Armstrong.

Salem Possessed: The Social Origins of Witchcraft by Paul S. Boyer, Stephen Nissenbaum. The stark immediacy of what happened in Salem in 1692 has obscured the complex web of human passion which had been growing for more than a generation. In the Devil's Snare: The Salem Witchcraft Crisis of 1692 by Mary Beth Norton

Hill, Frances, 1943-.

Hill, Frances, 1943-. Books for People with Print Disabilities. Internet Archive Books.

Hill's arguments about psychological opression and fear being the impetus for the hysteria are well developed and convincing

She lives in London but visits the United States regularly, spending every summer in Connecticut. Weitere Informationen.

She lives in London but visits the United States regularly, spending every summer in Connecticut. Richtlinien für Rezensionen.

This acclaimed history illuminates the horrifying episode of Salem with visceral clarity, from those who fanned the crisis to satisfy personal vendettas to the four-year-old "witch" chained to a dank prison wall in darkness till she went mad. Antonia Fraser called it "a grisly read and an engrossing one."
  • fabscf
OK, so the book is not perfect, but it is pretty close. Having never read a book on this topic I got sucked in and read into the early morning hours on a work night because I just had to finish. I'm a slow reader, but I read the whole book (and absorbed it all) in about 12 hours.

The author does a good job of starting at the beginning by explaining the culture at the time (women were repressed and bored) and then leading into how a few young women may have become a little delusional at the monotony and lack of power they held, and, started acting out strangely. They started to enjoy the attention it got them (which was probably not their original goal..or maybe it was?), and either consciously or subconsciously continued to act out more and more because it was a way for them to get attention, power and control, and to get away from their staid everyday life. All the while, a Puritanical church leader and a few of his cronies jumped at the opportunity to use it as an example of why people should pray more, be more Puritanical, etc. In doing so, they motivated the girls to act out further and gave support to their allegations. After some time, the girls had accused so many people of being witches, and the church leaders had endorsed it for so long, it reached a tipping point where neither party could back out and admit it was faked and/or exaggerated without becoming outcasts and their careers destroyed - thus they kept the charade going. To some extent, they may have lied so long that they actually started to believe it themselves.

In the end, several hundred were accused of being witches over about 6 months and over 20 were put to death before society finally came to its senses and said enough is enough. Kind of scary how, for a long time, anyone who doubted the young girls were quickly accused of being witches themselves, and thus others who may have spoken out were scared into submission and stood by as more and more were sentenced to death. Makes my think of Nazi Germany, and wonder if this can happen again. (The author does make reference of some recent examples of this behavior).

My only gripes are that the author tends to be quite subjective in repeatedly giving the girls the benefit of the doubt and stating her opinion that they probably really were insane, and not faking it (which I personally doubt, just my opinion) and that one guy named Putnam was the main bad actor using the girls by convincing them that his business adversaries were witches. I think she puts too much blame on him, as I feel that there were probably more men and women that were equally at fault in instigating the girls to make new allegations against people they wanted to bring down. These are my opinions, but the author could have been a bit more objective on these issues.

Overall, a fascinating, very sad, and very scary read. Makes me wonder what I would have done if I had been there... The book also teaches you to think outside the box; virtually everyone who denied being a witch was thrown in jail or executed - toward the end of the scandal, one man accused of being a which threatened to bring a defamation suit, upon which the girls immediately recanted their allegations.
  • Nidor
Very well-written and informative, with a subtle, dry sense of humor that is not inappropriate. Hill devotes more than most to the psychology behind what happened as well as the details of each case, which was fascinating. The people were at times a bit complicated to keep track of, especially since an awful lot of the women seemed to be named Sarah! Hill was slightly more sympathetic than I found myself when discussing the girls who began the rather deadly hysterics, but only slightly. She doesn't entirely attempt to excuse them from culpability at any rate. I still find it hard to believe that the people were that credulous, but hysteria is an odd thing in a group. Well worth reading and it doesn't take very long to do so.
  • Felolune
Part of the interest surrounding the Salem witch trials is that it is so hard to come up with an easy explanation for why it happened. In comparison, there is no mystery whatsoever about the causes of the Spanish Inquisition, as horrible as that was. As I was writing my paper on the subject, it seemed as if there was no good concensus on what caused it. Ms. Hill has an engaging theory, and a brisk, especially easy to read style. So, if you need a counterweight to Boyer and Nissenbaum's socio-economic theory, Hill is a great read, which goes down easily.

I cannot be so pleased with the introduction for the book written by Karen Armstrong, who loosely attributes the event, without the need in a three page piece to be held accountable for her statements. She attributes the incident to "an inadeguate conception of religion". The surest refutation to this is the fact that the trials were held by secular authorities, with relatively little participation by the leading clerics in the Massachusetts Bay Colony; and the fact that the trials were put to an abrupt halt on the advice of the leading colony cleric, Increase Mather, the president of Harvard College.

Since this is a rather creative narrative, I suggest you do not make it your primary source for the history of events. For that, I suggest the painstakenly detailed book "The Salem Witch TRials" by Marilynne Roach. If you use both, you may wisht to read Hill through, checking facts and opinions were necessary against Roach.
  • Nakora
A very interesting analysis of the witch hunt phenomenon. The author uses what happened in Salem as a template and does a thorough examination of that situation not only from the standpoint of mass hysteria and superstition exasperated by hardship, but also the peculiarity of contemporary society to readily fall into the same pit. She points to the 50s communist scare, the 80s daycare center fiascos, and today's terrorist threat. So overall I liked this book very much and found it to be a fascinating commentary, and also an easy read.
  • Marelyne
I've never read a nonfiction book in 2 days before this one. This isn't the first book I've read on the topic, but it's far and away the best. It's admirably researched, very well organized, and the narrative style of the writing makes it a fast, interesting read (I never found it dull). I didn't feel bored by information I already knew, and there was plenty of information I didn't know.
Hill presents a dignified portrait of the accused and, in my opinion, a very fair one of the accusers. Readers expecting to read about real paranormal phenomenon may be disappointed. Hill's narrative is sympathetic to the accusers while taking a careful look at their behavior and motivation. I finished the book thinking that Salem Village might have fared a lot better if Judge Danforth had taken the afflicted girls over his knee and given them a good spanking.
All in all, an excellent, informed, and thought provoking account of this tragic event that never becomes sensationalistic.
  • Jorius
A bit dry and choppy in writing but not a bad read. It has some interesting information but I struggled to stay engaged while reading this book.