978-0-385-47255-5 / 9780385472555

A Delusion of Satan





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About the book:

This compelling study of the horrific  Salem Witch Trials--the first of its kind in over  forty-five years--draws strength from new  psychological insights into the roots of the hysteria that  spurred the witch hunts of the late 1600s, and  links them to the contemporary "witch hunts"  of the twentieth century.  

For more than three hundred years, the hysteria  that gripped Massachusetts during the Salem witch  trials of the late 1600s has fascinated readers  worldwide. Now acclaimed British writer Frances Hill  has applied contemporary psychology to the Salem  phenomenon and come up with startling results. Why  were nearly all of the "afflicted"  people women? What kind of mentality did the Puritans  possess to place a four-year-old child in prison?  What were the politics behind the witch hunts and  trials, and what similarities exist in the witch  hunts of the twentieth century (for example, the  "witch hunts" of the McCarthy era)? In  A Delusion Of Satan, Frances Hill  answers these questions and many more in a  conversational and frighteningly realistic narrative as she  maps out details of the witch trials and subsequent  hangings-information never revealed before.  Discipline, morality, and intellectual rigor-these are  all attributes that Puritanism bequeathed to the New  World. Unfortunately, along with them came a  tendency to regard an enemy as beneath empathy and  deserving destruction. A Delusion Of  Satan reminds the reader that these impulses,  lurking in all people, can only be countered by  constant reminders of common humanity.

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