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Presents a history of the Salem witch hunt and witch trials that occurred during the late seventeenth century.
Salem, Massachusetts, is the quintessential New England town, with its cobbled streets and strong ties to the sea. With the notoriety of the Salem witch trials, the city's reputation has been irrevocably linked to the occult. However, few know the history behind the religion of Spiritualism and the social movement that took root in this romanticized land. At the turn of the century, seers, mediums and magnetic healers all hoped to connect to the spiritual world. The popularity of Spiritualism and renewed interest in the occult blossomed out of an attempt to find an intellectual and emotional balance between science and religion. Learn of early converts, the role of the venerable Essex Institute and the psychic legacy of "Moll" Pitcher. Historian Maggi Smith-Dalton delves into Salem's exotic history, unraveling the beginnings of Spiritualism and the rise of the Witch City.
How is a sense of place created, imagined, and reinterpreted over time? That is the intriguing question addressed in this comprehensive look at the 400-year history of Salem, Massachusetts, and the experiences of fourteen generations of people who lived in a place mythologized in the public imagination by the horrific witch trials and executions of 1692 and 1693. But from its settlement in 1626 to the present, Salem was, and is, much more than this. In this volume, contributors from a variety of fields examine Salem's multiple urban identities: frontier outpost of European civilization, cosmopolitan seaport, gateway to the Far East, refuge for religious diversity, center for education, and of course, "Witch City" tourist attraction.
The Pulitzer Prize–winning, bestselling biography of America’s founding father and second president that was the basis for the acclaimed HBO series, brilliantly told by master historian David McCullough. In this powerful, epic biography, David McCullough unfolds the adventurous life journey of John Adams, the brilliant, fiercely independent, often irascible, always honest Yankee patriot who spared nothing in his zeal for the American Revolution; who rose to become the second president of the United States and saved the country from blundering into an unnecessary war; who was learned beyond all but a few and regarded by some as “out of his senses”; and whose marriage to the wise and valiant Abigail Adams is one of the moving love stories in American history. This is history on a grand scale—a book about politics and war and social issues, but also about human nature, love, religious faith, virtue, ambition, friendship, and betrayal, and the far-reaching consequences of noble ideas. Above all, John Adams is an enthralling, often surprising story of one of the most important and fascinating Americans who ever lived.
IT is one of the distinguishing characteristics of the human being, that he loves to contemplate the scenes of the past, and desires to have his own history borne down to the future. This, like all the other propensities of our nature, is accompanied by faculties to secure its gratification. The gift of speech, by which the parent can convey information to the child—the old transmit intelligence to the young—is an indication that it is the design of the Author of our being that we should receive from those passing away the narrative of their experience, and communicate the results of our own to the generations that succeed us. All nations have, to a greater or less degree, been faithful to their trust in using the gift to fulfil the design of the Giver. It is impossible to name a people who do not possess cherished traditions that have descended from their early ancestors. Although it is generally considered that the invention of a system of arbitrary and external signs to communicate thought is one of the greatest and most arduous achievements of human ingenuity, yet so universal is the disposition to make future generations acquainted with our condition and history,—a disposition the efficient cause of which can only be found in a sense of the value of such knowledge,—that you can scarcely find a people on the face of the globe, who have not contrived, by some means or other, from the rude monument of shapeless rock to the most perfect alphabetical language, to communicate with posterity; thus declaring, as with the voice of Nature herself, that it is desirable and proper that all men should know as much as possible of the character, actions, and fortunes of their predecessors on the stage of life.
Part geographical location, part time period, and part state of mind, the American West is a concept often invoked but rarely defined. Though popular culture has carved out a short and specific time and place for the region, author and longtime Californian Stephen Aron tracks "the West" from the building of the Cahokia Mounds around 900 AD to the post-World War II migration to California. His Very Short Introduction stretches the chronology, enlarges the geography, and varies the casting, providing a history of the American West that is longer, larger, and more complicated than popular culture has previously suggested. It is a history of how portions of North America became Wests, how parts of these became American, and how ultimately American Wests became the American West. Aron begins by describing the expansion of Indian North America in the centuries before and during its early encounters with Europeans. He then explores the origins of American westward expansion from the Seven Years' War to the 1830s, focusing on the western frontier at the time: the territory between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River. He traces the narrative - temporally and geographically - through the discovery of gold in California in the mid-nineteenth century and the subsequent rush to the Pacific Slope. He shows how the passage of the Newlands Reclamation Act in 1902 brought an unprecedented level of federal control to the region, linking the West more closely to the rest of the United States, and how World War II brought a new rush of population (particularly to California), further raising the federal government's profile in the region and heightening the connections between the West and the wider world. Authoritative, lucid, and ranging widely over issues of environment, people, and identity, this is the American West stripped of its myths. The complex convergence of peoples, polities, and cultures that has decisively shaped the history of the American West serves as the key interpretive thread through this Very Short Introduction. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
One of the most complete biographies ever written about an American president, this is a remarkable effort examining the life and career of the great Revolutionary leader and the second man to take the oath of office, John Adams. Volume 1 of this two-volume work covers Adams's school days as well as his study and practice of law in pre-Revolutionary America. The Boston Massacre is discussed in great depth, along with Adams's entrance into public life and his landmark term in the Congress of 1774 straight through to the advent of the Declaration of Independence.

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