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The Witches: Salem, 1692 av Stacy Schiff
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The Witches: Salem, 1692 (utgåvan 2015)

av Stacy Schiff (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1,754577,067 (3.45)79
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Cleopatra, the #1 national bestseller, unpacks the mystery of the Salem Witch Trials. It began in 1692, over an exceptionally raw Massachusetts winter, when a minister's daughter began to scream and convulse. It ended less than a year later, but not before 19 men and women had been hanged and an elderly man crushed to death. The panic spread quickly, involving the most educated men and prominent politicians in the colony. Neighbors accused neighbors, parents and children each other. Aside from suffrage, the Salem Witch Trials represent the only moment when women played the central role in American history. In curious ways, the trials would shape the future republic. As psychologically thrilling as it is historically seminal, THE WITCHES is Stacy Schiff's account of this fantastical story-the first great American mystery unveiled fully for the first time by one of our most acclaimed historians.… (mer)
Medlem:blacklabmacie
Titel:The Witches: Salem, 1692
Författare:Stacy Schiff (Författare)
Info:Little, Brown and Company (2015), Edition: First Edition, 512 pages
Samlingar:Colonial America 1607-1763
Betyg:***
Taggar:Salem Witch Trials

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The Witches: Salem, 1692 av Stacy Schiff

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I want to buy this book and re-read it, as I listened to the audio from my library/Libby. There is SO much information in this book and it would be so great to re-read it and be able to flip back and forth, underline, etc.

I do agree that it reads like a history book, but I'm OK with that! I don't know a lot about this time in history so I appreciate the basics. That being said, I do think "The Witches: Salem, 1692" goes deeper than just the basics and it probably would have better for my comprehension if I had more knowledge going into the book, but it's not necessary to be able to follow along and understand a great deal.

I recommend it for those interested in the topic. There are some sentences too that are pure gems of insight. When I snag a hard copy and start underlining, I'll try to remember to update this and share a few!
  coffeefairy | Nov 21, 2020 |
It took me a year and a half to finish this book. Having previously read Stacy Schiff’s biography of Cleopatra, which I liked very much, I had high expectations for this book, so high that I assigned it as class reading for a research project on witch hunts past and present.

Unlike Cleopatra, The Witches: Suspicion, Hysteria, and Betrayal in 1692 Salem was hard to navigate. While there are many things to like about this book, I’ll start with the things I didn’t like. It’s hard to follow. Partly chronological and party thematic, it bounces back and forth between the events leading up to, during, and following the infamous Salem witch trials, to sections that provide detail (including numerous foot notes) about specific people and events that stretch far beyond the chronological timeline. I can see Schiff’s reasoning for wanting to include the background information, but it would have been better if she had somehow woven it together more smoothly and less confusingly. Sometimes I felt like I was navigating my way through a maze with lots of false starts and dead ends.

Also, Schiff’s use of pronouns is often vague and unclear so that I wasn’t always sure which possible “he” or “she” she was referring to.

In addition, the occasional pop culture references (Harry Potter, McCarthyism, etc. were anachronistic and sometimes jarring. Furthermore, Schiff’s use of sarcasm in summarizing the accusations of witchcraft and pieces of trial testimony were also somewhat confusing.

The book was well researched, and I especially enjoyed the chapters detailing what happened after the events of 1692, which one seldom hears about. Schiff is able to connect the trials with current events (up through 2016), so the relevancy of the events and what they say about human nature are clear.

While I began by reading the book, I barely made it 1/3 of the way through, so I finished it via audiobook, which I liked much better. I did sometimes have to rewind sections several times to follow Schiff’s thoughts, but the narrator does a good job even when she is reading the footnotes.

Overall I liked the book enough to give it 3 stars. I’m glad I read it, but I doubt I’ll ever read it again. I will, however, put it upon my shelf as a reference book not only for looking up the specifics of the Salem Witch Trials but also for the extensive bibliography it provides. One can always learn from the past, and it is with this knowledge that we can hopefully look forward to a more hopeful future. ( )
  LoriFox | Oct 24, 2020 |
the book was ok, if you into reading about the witch trails then the book is a most. for me the book at times was hard to follow like the author was jumping around to much ( )
  cbloky | Sep 1, 2020 |
non-fiction written with a fiction flare -- intense, well researched storytelling of a segment of American and human history ( )
  SleepyBooksandCakes | Aug 22, 2020 |
I have never read this author's previous books, but have to say that I probably won't read any of her other works if they are set up like this. History is a dry subject, but the way this was structured made it even more in my opinion.

Stacy Schiff takes a look at Salem, Massachusetts during it's witch hysteria in 1962. She starts off the book with all of the people/persons affected by the charges of witchcraft. From there, she lost me. Probably because it was just pages and pages of people I didn't know. I really wish that she had instead done a family tree of some sort for an appendix to the book so you could clearly see who was charged/accused/hanged/pressed, etc. Because reading it the way I did left it with no context.

Then Schiff starts off with the girls behind it all: Abigail Williams and Betty Parris. Abigail Williams and Betty Parris were related to Reverend Samuel Parris who ultimately accused people in Salem of witchcraft. Additionally, Reverend Parris's slave Tituba was accused of being a witch and she then in turn accused others as did Tituba's husband Indian John. It was one long winding road of neighbors and family accusing each other left and right. I think ultimately one has to wonder how did no one catch on to this whole thing being just a pack of lies? When I was reading through some of the accusations I just shook my head. I so would have been burned at the stake back then cause I would have been scoffing under my breath.

Schiff goes back and forth between the accusers, accused, and those who sat on the bench who judged. I have to say that I wish that Schiff had managed to either stick with going along with the dates in a linear fashion. Or if not do that, had focused on each person individually. There were so many people I ended up wishing to read more about, but we would jump from one person to another and I found myself getting confused sometimes trying to keep track of everyone.

The one person I was most impressed to read about was Giles Corey who refused to plead. Due to the laws at the time if you refused to plead guilty or not guilt you could not be tried. But instead of letting the person go, they would then threaten to press you to death (have rocks placed on top of you) and Giles Corey still refused to plead and was then pressed to death. Due to him refusing to plead the government at time could not take his land so it was able to pass onto his heirs. He was 81 years old.

The book should have really ended when the special court was dissolved. Instead we follow some people here and there to see what became of them.

The writing was really dry. I found myself getting bored a few times while reading. I just wish that they had broken up the long text with photos and other drawings that they included at the end of the book. It would have helped keep my interest a bit longer.

Also Schiff I think just starts throwing out multiple references to Freud and other people in order to get a handle on why these young girls would have accused someone and why would others then go on and accuse others. She also throws in historical references to other witch trials as well. And I think I saw a Joan of Arc reference too. As I said, it just made the book very dry and I got pretty bored while reading.

The ending has Salem in the modern era still not liking to talk about what happened before (Schiff mentions that Arthur Miller was rebuffed when going to the area to research his play "The Crucible") but has embraced witches as a mascot for the high school and has experienced a huge amount of tourism around Halloween.

The book then shows images/photos and goes into a lot of references. It actually ended around the 70 percent mark I think (via my Kindle) and so it's not as long as you think it is if you are reading it via electronic format. I will say that I wish that Schiff had included more pictures of things in modern Salem such as the witch's mascot, people celebrating Halloween, etc. it would have been a nice juxtaposition of the two time periods.

Bank:
April 15: $20
April 17: $23. I read "The Wangs Vs the World", electronic pages 368.
April 24: $28. I read "Dream Wedding", electronic pages 512.
April 25: $28. Landed on BL and had to post a vacation photo or tell a story about a vacation.
April 29: $31. Read "Whitethorn Woods", 354 pages Kindle edition, $3.00
April 29: $34. Read "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep", 256 pages;$3.00.
May 4: $37. Read "The Ghost Brigades" Paperback, 346 pages; $3.00
May 8: $42. Read "American Gods" Hardcover, 465 pages; $5.00.
May 8: $45. Read "Moon Called" 298 pages Kindle edition; $3.00.
May 13: $50. Read "Solitude Creek" 434 pages electronic; $5.00.
May 14: $53. Read "No Country for Old Men" 320 pages Kindle edition; $3.00
May 19: $56. Read "The Witches: Salem, 1692" 384 ebook; $3.00. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
Visa 1-5 av 55 (nästa | visa alla)
 
 
These are upsetting tales and Schiff writes movingly as well as wittily; this is a work of riveting storytelling as well as an authoritative history. Schiff’s explanations for the events are convincing. She identifies the symptoms of the supposedly bewitched with those neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot listed in his studies of hysteria (twitching, stammering and grimacing) and she suggests that in a repressed, puritanical society, people found this an easy outlet both for boredom and for an uneasy conscience. There were also questions of power at stake: land disputes; sexual and professional rivalries. “Vengeance is walking Salem,” cries Miller’s John Proctor; “the little crazy children are jangling the keys of the kingdom, and common vengeance writes the law!”
 

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Stacy Schiffprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Foss, ElizaBerättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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I
The Diseases of Astonishment
We will declare frankly that nothing is clear in this world. Only fools and charlatans know and understand everything.
—Anton Chekhov

In 1692 The Massachusetts Bay Colony executed fourteen women, five men, and two dogs for witchcraft. The sorcery materialized in January. The first hanging took place in June, the last in September, a stark, stunned silence followed. What discomfited those who survived the ordeal was not the cunning practice of witchcraft but the clumsy administration of justice. Innocents indeed appeared to have hanged. But guilty parties had escaped. There was no vow never to forget; consigning nine months to obliviion seemed a more appropriate response. It worked, for a generation. We have been conjuring with Salem—our national nightmare, the undercooked, overripe tabloid episode, the dystopian chapter in our past—ever since. It crackles, flickers, and jolts its way through American history and literature.
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"A witch is one who can do or seems to do strange things, beyond the known power of art and ordinary nature, by virtue of a confederacy with evil spirits." - Joseph Glanvill
"Salem is in part the story of what happens when a set of unanswerable questions meets a set of unquestioned answers."
In the anxious murk, religion sometimes seemed a kind of halfway house between reason and superstition.
I observe the law to be very much like a lottery - great charge, little benefit.
Oh! You are liars, and God will stop the mouth of liars...I will speak the truth as long as I live. - Dorcas Hoar
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The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Cleopatra, the #1 national bestseller, unpacks the mystery of the Salem Witch Trials. It began in 1692, over an exceptionally raw Massachusetts winter, when a minister's daughter began to scream and convulse. It ended less than a year later, but not before 19 men and women had been hanged and an elderly man crushed to death. The panic spread quickly, involving the most educated men and prominent politicians in the colony. Neighbors accused neighbors, parents and children each other. Aside from suffrage, the Salem Witch Trials represent the only moment when women played the central role in American history. In curious ways, the trials would shape the future republic. As psychologically thrilling as it is historically seminal, THE WITCHES is Stacy Schiff's account of this fantastical story-the first great American mystery unveiled fully for the first time by one of our most acclaimed historians.

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