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  • Item# SMAD
  • ISBN13: 978-0-942679-28-1
  • ISBN: 0-942679-28-8
  • Copyright 2004
  • 231 pp.
  • 1.38lb
  • Form: Hardback, With printed dust jacket
  • Price: $22.95
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Such Men are Dangerous
The Fanatics of 1692 and 2004


Most Americans, of course, would like to think that our modern-day leaders are more enlightened than the witch-hunting Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. But are they? Is it possible that people like Paul Wolfowitz, Dick Cheney, and even George W. Bush are just the modern-day equivalents of Cotton Mather, John Hathorne, and William Phips? Frances Hill finds a frightening resemblance, and hopes that by remembering the past we can avoid repeating it.

Much of what we know about the Salem witch trials is the result of Frances Hill’s meticulously researched books on the subject. To many, this seems to be a bizarre chapter of history that could never repeat itself in modern times. Yet that is exactly what is happening, Hill says. The events are, of course, very different. The Puritans twisted a popular fear of imaginary “spectral” forces to bolster their power and wealth. Today’s neoconservatives are twisting the very real public fear of terrorism to bolster their ideological agendas, power and wealth.

We know how the story of the witch hunts ends. The modern equivalent is still under way, with far more chilling ramifications for the future of humanity.

What People are Saying

"In the flood of political nonfiction inspired by the Bush administration, Hill dares to get past complaining, actually making an intelligent case for learning from history."
—Eric Robbins of Apple Valley Books, Winthrop, ME
in Bookselling This Week

"Frances Hill, in her book Such Men Are Dangerous, has drawn arresting parallels between the witchhunting pathology of Calvinism and of US neo-conservative politicians."
The Independent (London)

"In her chapters, Hill plays off the 1692 fanatics with those in 2004. Each section is remarkably lucid and clear. . . . Her analysis of the witch trials is authoritative and perceptive. . . . The "spectral evidence" of Mather's day becomes the rumor and intelligence-gathering of the present day. The witches in prison suggest the prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay. Hysteria drives all, and fear is the fuel these politicians thrive on. The real story here . . . is the American penchant of witch hunts in general, the demagogic rush to skewer scapegoats, rouse the body politic, and launch crusades against various axes of evil."
The Providence Journal

"Among the other inspired first-timers [in publishing political books this year] is Vermont's Upper Access. In addition to its [other] titles, the press will publish historian Frances Hill's Such Men Are Dangerous: The Fanatics of 1692 and 2004 (Mar., $22.95), which examines the similarities between Puritan ideologues and today's neo-conservatives."
Publishers Weekly

"Hill posits that America at the beginning of the twenty-first century, with its poverty, lack of health care, overflowing prisons, and random executions, is a place of great savagery, comparable to Massachusetts at the end of the seventeenth century. According to Hill, the people running the country in 2004 are as self-righteous and inhumane as the Puritan leaders of 1692. That will be welcome reading to [at least] a segment of the American public.”
ForeWord Magazine

"Author Frances Hill, who has written three previous books on the Salem witch trials, presents a peculiar thesis that at first blush seems outrageous. . . . Oddly, Hill is quite convincing about all of this. Her writing is breathlessly sharp and incisive, and her research is thorough, impeccable, and amply footnoted. The book reads like a thriller and stands as a walloping indictment of a government run amok, with far-reaching and bone-chilling implications for our future."
Fearless Reviews

"Such Men are Dangerous: The Fanatics of 1692 and 2004 is a chilling commentary that compares political figures such as Paul Wolfowitz, Dick Cheney, and George W. Bush with the ideologues of 1692 colonial America who led the Salem witch hunts. Comparing the government's manipulations of American reactions to September 11th with the Puritans' twist on popular fear of 'spectral' forces to commit murder and bolster their own wealth, Such Men Are Dangerous takes a bold stand but is chilling in its uncanny comparisons. A scathing expose that forces the reader to take a cold, hard look at America's current leaders."
Midwest Book Review

"It's disheartening to know that Americans have evolved so little in 300 years. This is quite an eye-opener of a book. . . . Highly recommended."
Dead Trees Review


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