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Satan in America: The Devil We Know
Satan in America tells the story of America's complicated relationship with the devil. "New light" evangelists of the eighteenth century, enslaved African Americans, demagogic politicians, and modern American film-makers have used the devil to damn their enemies, explain the nature of evil and injustice, mount social crusades, construct a national identity, and express anx ...more
Hardcover, 243 pages
Published October 28th 2009 by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
(first published 2009)
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Poole's book is organized around lecture notes, I imagine. Why? Because he covers a ton of ground in very few pages all structured to support his major thesis. The thesis is interesting and well argued. Poole provides many, many examples of how America's conception and relationship to the Devil/Evil is a complex maze of nationalism, finger-pointing accusation, and a real sense of "anti" morality. American evangelicalism has always been conservative and financially manipulative, but Poole argues ...more
As the title indicates, this book is about the perception of the Devil in America. Poole is an insightful historian who knows how to choose interesting episodes and events to illustrate his points. Not exactly a primer on Satanism, this book will provide more than just conventional information about the prince of darkness. Naturally, I wrote further comments about it on my blog: Sects and Violence in the Ancient World.
This is a chronological history of how American society has used the devil as a scapegoat, excuse, motivator, entertainment, and political tool. i would say it is very interesting and enlightening. This phantom still lurks around every corner of our culture.
Not as good as I had hoped. I was reading primarily for info on the "satanic panic" when people were seeing satanic cults everywhere and its relation to the recovered memory or false memory syndrome. The early chapters, a historical/sociological look at belief in the devil in America, we're good. This book also has a good bibliography.
“Robert Boyle, the English scientist largely responsible for the creation of the modern discipline of chemistry, interviewed miners in the 1670s in an attempt to discover whether the men had met with any “subterraneous demons . . . in what shape and manner they appear; what they portend and what they do.”More quotes…