Epilogue: The Crucible of Memory

in The Specter of Salem

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print January 2009 | ISBN: 9780226005416
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226005423 | DOI:
Epilogue: The Crucible of Memory

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This chapter considers the post-nineteenth-century life of Salem as a metaphor that is most familiar to modern Americans, and suggests that one can always find some appeal to Salem's example to restrain government powers or to quell popular opinion when it threatens to drive political decisions. It shows how the cultural memory of an event, such as the episode of witch-hunting in 1692 Massachusetts, often has a longer-lasting effect than the event itself.

Keywords: Salem; metaphor; government powers; political decisions; cultural memory; witch-hunting; Massachusetts

Chapter.  3826 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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