Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Featured Book: Justice at Salem by William H. Cooke

About the book:

For too long the accepted view of the Salem witch trials has been that the events were caused either by fraud and/or hysteria and that no witchcraft was practiced by the accused. 

The religious leaders of the day stirred up zealotry and the justice system was either too corrupt or blind to properly administer justice. As a result, all of the convictions were a grave miscarriage of justice. However, there was actual witchcraft practiced in colonial New England and it is possible that its effects were more than merely psychological. While miscarriages of justice were carried out, especially when the judges abandoned traditional legal protections in order to satisfy the wishes of the masses, guilty people were still among the condemned. As for the religious leaders, for the most part they generally advocated caution in the prosecution of suspected witches. 

Much of what people know, or think that they know, about the events in Salem in 1692 is wrong. Self-styled experts often make mistakes about many of the basic facts and draw conclusions that are not justified. The witch trials may hold a special place in the imaginations of many people, however, often the imagination warps judgment, understanding, and memory. This book attempts to set the historical record straight and using the evidence available draws new conclusions about what happened that fateful year in Massachusetts.

Visit the book's website

About the author:

William H. Cooke is an attorney. He lives in Annapolis, Maryland. He can be reached through his website at


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