Communities thoughout the United States were convulsed in the 1980s by accusations, often without a shred of evidence, that respectable men and women in their midst - many of them trusted preschool teachers - secretly gathered in far-reaching conspiracies to rape and terrorise children. In this powerful book, Debbie Nathan and Mike Snedeker examine the forces fueling this blind panic.
An extraordinarily brave, thoroughly researched work that is long overdue. It should be mandatory reading for teachers, police, lawyers, social workers and legislators.
A brilliant, radical work of cultural criticism.
Ellen Willis, author of
No More Nice Girls: Countercultural Essays
Satan's Silence will leave few but the truest believers doubting the author's conviction: that satanic ritual abuse is an imagined peril representing a social hysteria as terrible as the Salem witch trials or McCarthyism.
Women's Review of Books
Judged as a work of scholarship and investigative reporting, this meticluous and riveting book on America's satanic child abuse is superb.
The American Enterprise
Thoughtful and well-researched, Satan's Silence traces the origins and rapid growth of the hysteria, putting into context the curious mix of ancient myths, feminism, right-wing Christianity and '60s idealism that served to meet our age-old need for a Bogeyman.
San Diego Union-Tribune
Nathan and Snedeker provide is with an analysis of ritual abuse cases - based on an astoundingly detailed scrutiny of the public record, bolstered by interviews and historical research - that reveals the systemic, class-based scapegoating of people who represent the intersection of the public sphere with the (ideally) privatised, sacrosanct sphere of the family caretakers in daycare centers.