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Book Cover
Author Fels, Tony, 1949- author.

Title Switching sides : how a generation of historians lost sympathy for the victims of the Salem witch hunt / Tony Fels.

Publication Info. Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 2018.


Location Call No. Status
 PAS Central Library Non-Fiction, 3rd Floor    133.43 FEL    Available
1 copy being processed for PAS Central Library On Order.
Description xvi, 262 pages : illustrations, maps ; 23 cm
text txt rdacontent
unmediated n rdamedia
volume nc rdacarrier
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 143-249) and index.
Contents Starkey's devil in Massachusetts and the Post-World War II consensus -- Boyer and Nissenbaum's Salem possessed and the anti-capitalist critique -- An aside: investigations into the practice of actual witchcraft in seventeenth-century New England -- Demos's entertaining satan and the functionalist perspective -- Karlsen's devil in the shape of a woman and feminist interpretations -- Norton's in the devil's snare and racial approaches, I -- Norton's in the devil's snare and racial approaches, II.
Summary In Switching Sides, Tony Fels traces a remarkable shift in scholarly interpretations of the Salem witch hunt from the post–World War II era up through the present. Fels explains that for a new generation of historians influenced by the radicalism of the New Left in the 1960s and early 1970s, the Salem panic acquired a startlingly different meaning. Determined to champion the common people of colonial New England, dismissive toward liberal values, and no longer instinctively wary of utopian belief systems, the leading works on the subject to emerge from 1969 through the early 2000s highlighted economic changes, social tensions, racial conflicts, and political developments that served to unsettle the accusers in the witchcraft proceedings. These interpretations, still dominant in the academic world, encourage readers to sympathize with the perpetrators of the witch hunt, while at the same time showing indifference or even hostility toward the accused.
Subject Witchcraft -- Massachusetts -- Salem -- History -- 17th century.
Trials (Witchcraft) -- Massachusetts -- Salem -- History -- 17th century.
Witchcraft -- Massachusetts -- Salem -- Historiography.
Trials (Witchcraft) -- Massachusetts -- Salem -- Historiography.
ISBN 9781421424378 (paperback ; alkaline paper)
9781421424385 (electronic book)
1421424371 (paperback ; alkaline paper)
142142438X (electronic book)

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