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Killing the Witches: The Horror of Salem, Massachusetts

de Bill O'Reilly, Martin Dugard

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1664162,401 (3.75)2
History. Nonfiction. HTML:

With over 19 million copies in print and a remarkable record of #1 New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestsellers, Bill O'Reilly's Killing series is the most popular series of narrative histories in the world.

Killing the Witches revisits one of the most frightening and inexplicable episodes in American history: the events of 1692 and 1693 in Salem Village, Massachusetts. What began as a mysterious affliction of two young girls who suffered violent fits and exhibited strange behavior soon spread to other young women. Rumors of demonic possession and witchcraft consumed Salem. Soon three women were arrested under suspicion of being witches??but as the hysteria spread, more than 200 people were accused. Thirty were found guilty, twenty were executed, and others died in jail or their lives were ruined.
Killing the Witches tells the dramatic history of how the Puritan tradition and the power of early American ministers shaped the origins of the United States, influencing the founding fathers, the American Revolution, and even the Constitutional Convention. The repercussions of Salem continue to the present day, notably in the real-life story behind The Exorcist and in contemporary "witch hunts" driven by social media. The result is a compulsively listenable audiobook about good, evil, community panic, and how fear can overwhelm fact and reason.
A Macmillan Audio production from St. Martin's Press.… (més)

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This offers a look at the things that influenced and allowed the awful witch hangings in Salem, Massachusetts.

"Although very different from the Salem hysteria in form, the spirit of no forgiveness and celebrating unproven allegations finds the modern Cancel Culture and Salem together. Instead of insane clerics and corrupt officials, our current witch hunt is lead by dishonest media, both traditional and social and a legion of despicable attorneys who seek to extort money by peddling unexamined accusations, often with full knowledge that careers will be destroyed and families torn apart. We see examples almost every day. Unlike 17th century Salem there are guilty people who should be held to account for their misdeeds but the demonstrable fact in the United States is that due process is often ignored in the court of public opinion. Denials never deter the destroyers. Like the powerful Mather preachers, corporations are taking lead in the mass denial of due process." ( )
  BoundTogetherForGood | Mar 1, 2024 |
Disappointed in this book. The 1st section is about the Salem Witch Trials, but it was pretty basic and I didn’t learn much new. The next section deals briefly with Ben Franklin and the writing of the US Constitution, only vague references to the Salem Witch Trials, but I get the separation of state and religion. Finally the 3rd part of the Book retells the real life inspiration for The Exorcist book and movie. The connection with Salem again just a thread. So although I’ve read and liked other books in the author’s “Killing” series, this one missed the mark for me, ( )
  Zumbanista | Dec 16, 2023 |
I am not rating this book because it is quite odd. The first half tells about the vents of Salem, MA between 1620 and 1692 when several people were burned at the stake and others financially ruined. This was a period of mass hysteria. Some way or another, a few teenage girls managed to put on silly shows that, with the aid of two or three clergymen, turned into so-called witch trials. Even at this late date, it is not possible whether the girls were headstrong or if there truly was demonic possession. The book then goes into connecting some peculiar events elsewhere until we get to the case of the young man who truly seems to have been possessed in the early 1920s which Hollywood turned into the movie The Exorcist with the possessed person changed to a girl.

A nagging thought is why were the girls allowed to persist in their antics. Surely some must have thought their antics were off the grid.

That there are bad spirits about is a long-held belief, dating back to the story of Creation. All things considered, one would be wont to dismiss evil as a force.
  DeaconBernie | Nov 24, 2023 |
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History. Nonfiction. HTML:

With over 19 million copies in print and a remarkable record of #1 New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestsellers, Bill O'Reilly's Killing series is the most popular series of narrative histories in the world.

Killing the Witches revisits one of the most frightening and inexplicable episodes in American history: the events of 1692 and 1693 in Salem Village, Massachusetts. What began as a mysterious affliction of two young girls who suffered violent fits and exhibited strange behavior soon spread to other young women. Rumors of demonic possession and witchcraft consumed Salem. Soon three women were arrested under suspicion of being witches??but as the hysteria spread, more than 200 people were accused. Thirty were found guilty, twenty were executed, and others died in jail or their lives were ruined.
Killing the Witches tells the dramatic history of how the Puritan tradition and the power of early American ministers shaped the origins of the United States, influencing the founding fathers, the American Revolution, and even the Constitutional Convention. The repercussions of Salem continue to the present day, notably in the real-life story behind The Exorcist and in contemporary "witch hunts" driven by social media. The result is a compulsively listenable audiobook about good, evil, community panic, and how fear can overwhelm fact and reason.
A Macmillan Audio production from St. Martin's Press.

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