The Devil's Disciples: The Makers Of The Salem Witchcraft Trials by Peter Charles HofferThe Devil's Disciples: The Makers Of The Salem Witchcraft Trials by Peter Charles Hoffer

The Devil's Disciples: The Makers Of The Salem Witchcraft Trials

byPeter Charles Hoffer

Paperback | March 10, 1998

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Mention the term witch hunt, and Salem, Massachusetts, springs to mind-and with it the power of superstition, the danger of mob mentality, and our natural fear of gross injustice. For more than a year, between January 1692 and May 1693, the men and women of Salem village lived in heightened fear of witches and their master, the Devil. Hundreds were accused of practicing witchcraft. Many suspects languished in jail for months. Nineteen men and women were hanged; one was pressed to death. Neighbors turned against neighbors, children informed on their parents, and ministers denounced members of their congregations. How could a settled community turn so viciously against itself? Why were certain persons accused and condemned while others were not? And why did the incidents of Salem occur where and when they did?

Approaching the subject as a legal and social historian, Peter Charles Hoffer offers a fresh look at the Salem outbreak based on recent studies of panic rumors, teen hysteria, child abuse, and intrafamily relations. He brings to life a set of conversations-in taverns and courtrooms, at home and work-which took place among suspected witches, accusers, witnesses, and spectators. The accusations, denials, and confessions of this legal story eventually resurrect the tangled internal tensions that lay at the bottom of the Salem witch hunts.

Peter Charles Hoffer is Research Professor of History at the University of Georgia and the author of numerous books on early American law and history, including the second edition of Law and People in Colonial America, also available from Johns Hopkins.
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Title:The Devil's Disciples: The Makers Of The Salem Witchcraft TrialsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:296 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.68 inPublished:March 10, 1998Publisher:Johns Hopkins University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0801852013

ISBN - 13:9780801852015

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From Our Editors

For more than a year, between January 1692 and May 1693, the men and women of Salem Village lived in heightened fear of witches and their master, the Devil. Hundreds were accused of practicing witchcraft. Many suspects languished in jail for months. Nineteen men and women were hanged; one was pressed to death. Neighbors turned against neighbors, children informed on their parents, and ministers denounced members of their congregations. Approaching the subject as a legal and social historian, Peter Charles Hoffer offers a fresh look at the Salem outbreak based on recent studies of panic rumors, teen hysteria, child abuse, and intrafamily relations. He brings to life a set of conversations - in taverns and courtrooms, at home and work - which took place among suspected witches, accusers, witnesses, and spectators. The accusations, denials, and confessions of this legal story eventually resurrect the tangled internal tensions that lay at the bottom of the Salem witch hunts. Hoffer demonstrates that Salem, far from being an isolated community in the wilderness, stood

Editorial Reviews

Reads like a good novel... You cannot wait to see what happens next, even though the verdicts were passed in 1692.