Thursday, August 28, 2014

Book Beginning: The Witch-Hunt Narrative by Ross E. Cheit



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YOUR BOOK BEGINNING



MY BOOK BEGINNING



Just as this book was being completed, the scandal that has come to be associated with Penn State took a definitive turn. Gerald "Jerry" Sandusky, the football team's defensive coordinator for many years, was convicted of forty-five counts of sexual crimes against children.

-- from the author's Preface to The Witch-Hunt Narrative: Politics, Psychology, and the Sexual Abuse of Children by Ross E. Cheit.

Child sexual abuse emerged into public discourse in the United States in the early 1980s. A public opinion poll in 1983 indicated that almost all parents were aware of the problem and had seen a story about it in the media.

-- from the author's Introduction: "The Infamous Child Sexual Abuse Cases of the 1980s."

Chiet is a professor at Brown University whose study of criminal sex abuse cases is the basis of his new book.  He examined high-profile day-care abuse cases from the 1980s and undertook empirical studies of criminal sentencing in sex abuse cases to determine whether child sex abuse is a pervasive problem or a "witch-hunt" blown out of proportion by eager prosecutors and sensation-seeking reporters.

I got this book because of my work with child abuse survivors and it looks fascinating. It has gotten a lot of media coverage:




For a summary of his argument, see Cheit's piece on The Huffington Post: Mythical Numbers and Satanic Ritual Abuse

10 comments :

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

This one definitely looks like one I need to read...I also worked with child abuse for many years.

Lisa Ks Book Reviews said...

A heat breaking subject.

Elizabeth said...

A subject we all need to be aware of.

Sounds like an excellent book to raise awareness.

Thanks for sharing.

Elizabeth
Silver's Reviews
My Book Beginnings

JC Jones said...

That is a hot topic today. It sound like your are doing something to help some of the children.

Tea Norman said...

I remember this case being in the news. Hope the book delivers what you want from it.

Claudia {Sparrowhawk} said...

So much light needs to be shed on this subject and it often feels as if society keeps trying to bury the issue though. I am not certain I would be able to read it as I easily attach myself to the stories that I read; it would wreck me to say the least.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Katherine P said...

This looks like a tough but fascinating subject. I know there's a hard balance between investigating a horrific crime and weeding out the more witch hunt allegations.

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Lew Powell said...
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