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Paul S. Boyer (1935–2012)

Autor(a) de Salem Possessed: The Social Origins of Witchcraft

58+ Works 2,746 Membros 29 Críticas

About the Author

Paul Boyer is the Merle Curti Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin -- Madison.
Image credit: Devin Manzullo-Thomas

Obras por Paul S. Boyer

College Rankings Exposed (2003) 19 exemplares
Enduring Voices: v. 1 3 exemplares
The American Nation (1998) 3 exemplares

Associated Works


Conhecimento Comum



5827 Promises To Keep The United States Since World War II (Second Edition), by Paul S. Boyer (read 11 Jan 2024) This covers United States history from 1945 to 2000 in a very readable and quite opinionated manner and I relished every page since I have avidly followed the news since Hitler swallowed up Austria in 1938. Even so, the book told me things I either did not know or had forgotten, tho most of the tumultuous events I knew of. and followed as they happened. I was struck by how much better the world seemed in 2000 than it does now since Putin now seems as menacing as the USSR seemed before it fell in 1991. I did not always agree with the author's opinion but often did. The bibliography shows me there are many books I should have read but I am too old to feel I should read them now. This was an exciting book to read.… (mais)
Schmerguls | Jan 11, 2024 |
Discussing post-war censorship, Boyer writes, “In the early postwar period, as the courts adopted an increasingly permissive stance in the sexual arena, repressive efforts rooted in Cold War fears of radicalism and subversion characterized the nation’s public life. Even in the realm of sexual expression, the Supreme Court’s permissive rulings, coupled with mass-culture products offering more and more explicit descriptions and representations, triggered a sharp reaction in conservative and religious circles. This, in turn, stimulated renewed demands for censorship” (pgs. 281-282). Discussing the Smith Act, Boyer writes, “In its heyday, however, the domestic anticommunism campaign, involving all three branches of the federal government, local governments, and various private organizations, resulted in gross and sustained violations of many citizens’ First Amendment rights, including freedom of speech and freedom of the press. In a 1953 Gallup Poll that asked whether a person ‘known to favor communism’ should be permitted to deliver a speech, 29 percent of Americans said yes, 67 percent, no” (p. 285). Writes Boyer, “In 1952, Democratic Congressman Ezekiel C. Gathings of Arkansas chaired a ‘select committee on current pornographic materials.’ The highly publicized 1954 hearings on juvenile delinquency conducted by Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee devoted much attention to pornography, including violent and salacious comic books, issuing an alarming report on Obscene and Pornographic Materials. Putting a dollar figure on the menace, it estimated the annual traffic in mail-order pornography at $500 million” (pg. 288). Boyer notes that Americans typically formed voluntary groups for handling these issues (pgs. 292-293). He sets the 1950s and early 1960s resurgence in censorship “against a backdrop of increasing political and social conflict” (pg. 293). Boyer concludes, “In the three decades from 1945 through the mid-1970s, public attitudes and legal rulings in the U.S. relating to censorship followed two interrelated and partially contradictory trajectories. On the one hand, through the mid-1960s the court, and to a more limited extent the public at large, grew more tolerant of cultural material dealing with sex, and more willing to extend First Amendment protection to a wider range of materials. In response, the volume and explicitness of such material entering the cultural mainstream increased exponentially. Simultaneously, a counter-trend of repressiveness, present throughout the period, grew in momentum from the mid-1960s on” (pg. 316).… (mais)
DarthDeverell | Aug 2, 2023 |
A collection of primary sources, including the actual court record and follow up to the Salem Witch Trials. Using these, the reader can see a pattern emerges. Acts of witchcraft become more elaborate only after the accused are arrested.

For example, Ann Putnam Jr. says she saw the apparition of Sarah Good. Elizabeth Hubbard follows suit, verbatim, 3 days later. Suddenly Good can call familiars, shapeshift among other wondrous acts. But why Sarah Good? Good was poor, and often quarreled with those who boarded her out of charity. The same goes to Rebecca Nurse. Rebecca Nurse is accused by Ann Putnam Jr and 3 days later, Ann's mother supports this testimony and adds Martha Corey's name for good measure. But, as it turns out, Nurse had quarreled years ago with neighbors over pigs trampling her field. Bridget Bishop later falls into the same situation over unpaid debt.

This is just a fraction of what is included here. The book also includes land transactions, comments from outside authorities, family relations and remarks from Salem ministers. If you had no idea how deep Salem factions and grudges were before, well with this resource, you can definitely draw some obvious conclusions.
… (mais)
asukamaxwell | 2 outras críticas | Jan 3, 2023 |
Good refresher for middle school or HS American history course, to see what you remember or forgot.
kevn57 | Dec 8, 2021 |



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