The Devil’s Disciples: Makers of the Salem Witchcraft Trials

Peter Charles Hoffer

The author meticulously investigates the outbreak of hysteria in the small Massachusetts colony of Salem, which led to the infamous witch-hunt conducted under the auspices of the tyrannical Cotton Mather. His presentation of materials from the trials along with his unique interpretation provides a glimpse into the bizarre apparatus propelled by religious fanaticism and superstition, which unleashed the scourge of God against the accused and hapless “witches” and “sorcerers.” JB

Publisher: Johns Hopkins University
Hardback: 279 pages

Pacts With the Devil: A Chronicle of Sex, Blasphemy and Liberation

S.J. Black and Christopher S. Hyatt, Ph.D.

“Genuine manual of the dreaded ‘left-handed path.’” Learn to consort with the demons and achieve the power of the Magus. The authors “plumb history, psychology and anthropology to reveal the true ‘secret doctrine’ of Western culture,” along with its psyche and magical tradition. “Contains a detailed history of European black magic and includes new editions of 17th- and 18th-century grimoires with detailed instruction for their use.” The grimoires, or ritual pacts with Satan, have been updated from ancient texts. The required slaughter of a goat can now be safely replaced with sex. (Not with the goat, you stupid neo-pagan!) GR

Publisher: Johns Hopkins University
Paperback: 255 pages

Bodies Under Siege: Self-Mutilation and Body Modification in Culture and Psychiatry

Armando R. Favazza, M.D.

Bodies Under Siege was first published as a cross-cultural examination of mutilation and self-mutilation and their relation to psychiatric syndromes such as wounding, auto-enucleation (plucking out of the eye) and self-castration. Ten years hence, Favazza has crossed paths with the Modern Primitive movement’s leading exponent, Fakir Musafar (who supplies this edition with a new epilogue and cover photo), and found himself the leading academic expert on one of the biggest subcultural booms since the jitterbug—piercing, scarification, branding and other forms of “body play.” Favazza arranges the bulk of his book by body part (head, limbs, skin, genitals) with information on more arcane forms of self-attack such as monorchy (destruction of one testicle) and trepanation (drilling a hole in one’s skull) as well as a discussion of treatment for psychiatrically disturbed self-mutilators. SS

Publisher: Johns Hopkins University
Paperback: 373 pages

Staying Dry: A Practical Guide to Bladder Control

Kathryn L. Burgio, K. Lynette Pearce, and Angelo J. Lucco

“More than ten million Americans… are afraid to cough, sneeze, or laugh; run to the bathroom every fifteen minutes; dread the sound of running water; have accidents on the doorstep with key in hand.”

Publisher: Johns Hopkins University
Paperback: 169 pages

The Last Great Necessity: Cemeteries in American History

David Charles Sloane

From the first pioneer burial to Potter’s Ville to the urban yards then to the memorial park—The Last Great Necessity maps out the history of the American cemetery from holy grounds to big business, delivering the message of just how much death is a commodity in today’s society. TD

Publisher: Johns Hopkins University
Paperback: 294 pages

Eye-Deep in Hell: Trench Warfare in World War I

John Ellis

Provides a stark and disturbing account of the infernal madness that was trench warfare on the Western Front in the First World War. Maps, rare photographs and first-hand accounts help document the hideous nightmare world of No-Man’s Land, where literally millions fell to the machine gun, the artillery barrage, the sniper and to disease, while scarcely affecting the outcome of the conflict. Their struggle was in vain ultimately due to the staggering failure of military and civilian leadership on all sides. As we approach the new century bearing horrified witness to the ongoing death rattle of places like Rwanda and Zaire, works like this serve as a chilling reminder of the fact that the Third World has by no means the monopoly on creating Hell on earth. AD

Publisher: Johns Hopkins University
Paperback: 216 pages

Race: The History of an Idea in the West

Ivan Hannaford

A whole panoply of racial witticisms may be gleaned from the pages of this scholarly book, such as the following: “Best explained that the Devil caused Ham to transgress the laws of inheritance and to indulge in carnal copulation. Thus his sons were marked with a black badge to symbolize loathsomeness and banished to the cursed and degenerate voids of Africa, where they lived as idolaters, witches, drunkards, sodomites; and enchanters.” Particularly interesting is the amount of space devoted to the descriptions of the peoples of the earth by the Italian Giovanni Florio (1553-1625) whose book bore the curious title First Fruits, and has a kind word for all: “The Ethiopians are a certaine people of Caria, they are simple, foule, and slaves; the Carthaginians are false and deceivers; those of Babylon, are malicious; and the corrupted Persians are gluttonous and drunkardes; the Cicilians are very niggards, yet faithful; those of Caspia are cruel; they of Lesbia, filthy; the Scithians lawlesse; the Corinthians, fornicatours; the Boctians, very rude; the Simerians, very beastly…” and so on. Hannaford’s book is well researched and well written, and offers more than enough rare and entertaining material to satisfy either the most ardent racist or anti-racist. Most scholarly books of this type are dry and insipid, yet this particular offering is an exception to the general rule. JB

Publisher: Johns Hopkins University
Paperback: 448 pages

Cleansing the Fatherland: Nazi Medicine and Racial Hygiene

Aly, Chroust and Pross

“The infamous Nuremberg Doctors’ Trials of 1946-47 revealed horrifying crimes—ranging from grotesque medical experiments on humans to mass murder—committed by physicians and other health care workers in Nazi Germany. But far more common, argue the authors, were the doctors who profited porfessionally and financially from the killings but were never called to task—and indeed were actively shielded by colleagues in postwar German medical organizations… They also reveal details of countless lesser known killings—all ordered by doctors and all in the name of public health. Maladjusted adolescents, the handicapped, foreign laborers too ill to work, even German soldiers who suffered mental breakdowns after air raids were ‘selected for treatment.’ The book also includes original documents—never before published in English—that give unique and chilling insight into the everyday workings of Nazi medicine.”

Publisher: Johns Hopkins University
Paperback: 296 pages

Main Street to Miracle Mile: American Roadside Architecture

Chester Liebs

This treatise “established the 20th-century roadside landscape as a subject for serious study.” The author “traces the transformation of commercial development as it has moved from centralized main streets, out along the streetcar lines, to the ‘miracle miles’ and shopping malls of today.” Also “explores the evolution of roadside buildings, from supermarkets and motels to automobile showrooms and drive-in theaters.” GR

Publisher: Johns Hopkins University
Paperback: 260 pages

Yesterday’s Tomorrows: Past Visions of the American Future

Joseph J. Corn and Brian Horrigan

The best thing about the popular visions of the future was, they promised that the future was going to be FUN. Whopping, Jules Vernian, amazing, eye-popping FUN. Cars that turn into airplanes, rocket packs, flying hot dog stands, two-way wrist televisions, monorails whizzing through massive metropolises, airplanes the size of steamships. Clean, effortless, streamlined, Jetsons-style F-U-N. And anybody could play the future game: “In 1894, an obscure socialist named King Camp Gillette published a curious utopian tract, The Human Drift, in which he outlined his vision of utopia. Gillette prescribed for the future an astonishing collection of 40,000 skyscrapers, clustered together in one grand ‘Metropolis’ near Niagara Falls. Built around vast atriums covered over with huge glass skylights, the steel-framed buildings would house most of the North American population in cooperative apartments… Within a few years, however, Gillette’s socialist future was a thing of the past, as he turned to perfecting the invention that was to bring him lasting fame in the annals of capitalism—the safety razor.” GR

Publisher: Johns Hopkins University
Paperback: 158 pages