Thursday, August 28, 2014

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


Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author's name.

EARLY BIRDS & SLOWPOKES: This weekly post goes up Thursday evening for those who like to get their posts up and linked early on. But feel free to add a link all week.

FACEBOOK: Rose City Reader has a Facebook page where I post about new and favorite books, book events, and other bookish tidbits, as well as link to blog posts. I'd love a "Like" on the page! You can go to the page here to Like it. I am happy to Like you back if you have a blog or professional Facebook page, so please leave a comment with a link and I will find you.

TWITTER, ETC: If you are on Twitter, Google+, or other social media, please post using the hash tag #BookBeginnings. I try to follow all Book  Beginnings participants on whatever interweb sites you are on, so please let me know if I have missed any and I will catch up.



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


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

  2. A subject we all need to be aware of.

    Sounds like an excellent book to raise awareness.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Silver's Reviews
    My Book Beginnings

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

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

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. Simply want to say your article is as surprising. The clarity to your publish is simply excellent and i could assume you are a professional on this subject. Fine along with your permission allow me to grasp your feed to stay updated with drawing close post. Thank you 1,000,000 and please carry on the gratifying work.
    Just want to say your article is as surprising. The clearness to your publish is just great and i could assume you’re an expert on this subject. Fine with your permission allow me to seize your RSS feed to keep updated with impending post. Thanks 1,000,000 and please carry on the gratifying work.
    Someone necessarily lend a hand to make critically posts I’d state. This is the first time I frequented your website page and thus far? I surprised with the analysis you made to create this particular submit incredible. Magnificent activity!
    Cardsharing Server

  8. Hey I recently start blogging please check it out? :D

  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...