Governing The Tongue: The Politics of Speech in Early New England by Jane Kamensky

Governing The Tongue: The Politics of Speech in Early New England

byJane Kamensky

Paperback | January 1, 1999

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Governing the Tongue explains why the spoken word assumed such importance in the culture of early New England. In a work that is at once historical, socio-cultural, and linguistic, Jane Kamensky explores the little-known words of unsung individuals, and reconsiders such famous Puritan eventsas the banishment of Anne Hutchinson and the Salem witch trials, to expose the ever-present fear of what the Puritans called "sins of the tongue." But even while dangerous or deviant speech was restricted, as Kamensky illustrates here, godly speech was continuously praised and promoted.Congregations were told that one should lift one's voice "like a trumpet" to God and "cry out and cease not." By placing speech at the heart of New England's early history, Kamensky develops new ideas about the complex relationship between speech and power in both Puritan New England and, byextension, our world today.

About The Author

Jane Kamensky is Assistant Professor of American History at Brandeis University and author of The Colonial Mosaic: American Women, 1600-1760 (OUP, 1995).
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Details & Specs

Title:Governing The Tongue: The Politics of Speech in Early New EnglandFormat:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 9.09 × 5.98 × 0.79 inPublished:January 1, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195130901

ISBN - 13:9780195130904

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Introduction1. The Sweetest Meat, the Bitterest Poison2. A Most Unquiet Hiding Place3. The Misgovernment of Woman's Tongue4. "Publick Fathers" and Cursing Sons5. Saying and Unsaying6. The Tongue is a WitchEpilogueAppendix: Litigation over Speech in Massachusetts, 1630-1692

Editorial Reviews

"This intelligent book about the power of speech indeed provides a new perspective on some of the major events of the colonies' first decades."--Times Literary Supplement