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The Salem Witchcraft Trials: A Legal History Paperback – October 8, 1997


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The Salem Witchcraft Trials: A Legal History + The Salem Witch Trials: A Day-by-Day Chronicle of a Community Under Siege + A Delusion Of Satan: The Full Story Of The Salem Witch Trials
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Product Details

  • Series: Landmark Law Cases & American Society
  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Univ Pr of Kansas (October 8, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0700608591
  • ISBN-13: 978-0700608591
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #398,839 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"This book provides perhaps the best one-volume introduction to an episode that has challenged historians for centuries. It provides not only a lucid and engrossing narrative but also satisfying explanations that seamlessly interweave the best of modern scholarship."--David Thomas Konig, editor of Devising Liberty: Preserving and Creating Freedom in the New American Republic

"Hoffer writes with a rare lucidity and vividness, and with a rare compassion as well. He makes the actors in this perplexing drama as comprehensible as they are ever likely to be."--Michael Zuckerman, author of Almost Chosen People and Peaceable Kingdoms

About the Author

Peter Charles Hoffer, research professor of history at the University of Georgia, is the author of The Devil's Disciples: Makers of the Salem Witchcraft Trials, Law and People in Colonial America, and other books on legal history.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Carolynn ni Lochlainn on March 21, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is full of theories easily proven and ideas that are common-sense and stuff we never heard about in social studies and history classes. The with trials were NOT about religion, they were about factions in a small, bored town. It is absolutely fascinating. Can't recommend this highly enough.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 12, 2014
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The book centers more on the social and philisophical aspects leading up to the many trials which is a little dull. However it mentions my grandmother (7th great) which just fasinates me completely. Our family has artifact dating back to the 1690's so it is interesting to see what one man surmises was the reason these poor, innocent women (and a few men), were tortured and hanged. The author, unwittingly I'm sure, lays a great deal of the blame on the religious leader attempting to increase his congregation by means of fear and "fire and brimestone", so to speak. Isn't that just a little bit true of what is happening in our world today where men claim goodwill in the name of religion but slaughter the masses to enrich and empower them and their belief? My "witch" was Suzannah North Martin and I would welcome hearing from any of the relatives of the other "witches".
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By Daniel Busman II on November 7, 2013
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I needed this book for a research project for college and it proved to be a good purchase. It had some good information about the trials and worked out well.
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By Teresa Horine on June 11, 2014
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Y'all did a great job. Keep up the work. I will reorder it again from u. It was my fault I put wrong address and it when next door. They kept it. Thanks
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By justin on March 20, 2015
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another addition to my collection for my family history.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Marco Buendia on April 23, 2014
Format: Paperback
The subtitle is somewhat misleading. Yes, there's as much "legal" history here as you're likely to get from someone who's not actually a law professor. But the author covers it from all other imaginable aspects as well, historical and social. There's even a novelistic element to it.

I suppose that some people see the subtitle and avoid it. I found the book in a public library collection near New Orleans, and one of the librarians saw me with it. He had access to circulation data in other libraries, not just his own, and told me the book circulated poorly where it was classed in the legal section (where I found it), circulated well when it was classed in the America History section, and poorly or not at all when it was put in Dewey 133 (witchcraft and other hocus-pocus followed by ignoramuses). Apparently the Wiccans don't find it appealing. Maybe the author should look into making a movie and sexing it up, perhaps starring Lindsey Lohan, or perhaps Doris Day (is she still alive?).
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The Salem Witchcraft Trials: A Legal History
This item: The Salem Witchcraft Trials: A Legal History
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