- Series: New Narratives in American History
- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (January 6, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0195161300
- ISBN-13: 978-0195161304
- Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.3 x 4.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #272,454 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Escaping Salem: The Other Witch Hunt of 1692 (New Narratives in American History) 1st Edition
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"Escaping Salem will engage every reader who has fallen under the spell of witchcraft's history in New England. But beware: still deeper enchantment awaits as Richard Godbeer unfolds his riveting tale of how ordinary men and women struggled to make sense of the wonders and terrors at work in their Connecticut village."--Christine Leigh Heyrman, University of Delaware
"Richard Godbeer's Escaping Salem is a thoughtful and lively retelling of a 'forgotten' witchcraft case. The strong story line is nicely balanced with astute commentary on the background and context. Indeed Godbeer uses the case to open up a broad vista of early New England life at ground level. And, in doing so, he shows a balance of interests and concerns that differs significantly from the endlessly hyped (but somewhat atypical) picture of the 'Salem witch-craze' in exactly the same year."--John Demos, Yale University
About the Author
Richard Godbeer is at University of California at Riverside.
Top Customer Reviews
'Escaping Salem' tells the story of the 'witch hunt' in Stamford, CT. We have all grown up hearing about the witch hunts in Salem. There have been movies and there have been discussions of the blood thirsty people in that community going after the witches to rid their villages of their evil practices.
This book begins to examine the people behind some of the stories in the relatively quiet community of Stamford. The book looks at one particular case of a girl named Kate Branch of her fits or rage, her delusions and her overall strange behavior. It discusses the people that many believed were witches and why they considered them witches. Though the arguments were often weak, the arguments gained traction and led to the trials of a couple of women accused of being witches.
The book takes you in to the courtroom as you see some of the problems of the prosecution and the difficulty of 'proving' witchcraft. I had always believed that trials were thrown together to just convict but you can see that there was definitely more effort needed to convict someone.
The biggest problem with the book is that it often reads like a textbook until the last chapter when the author interjects more of his thoughts and conclusions. The book is using public documents so there are some holes in the story which Godbeer tries to fill. Overall, an interesting peak into the late 1600s court system and witches problem.