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Social Sciences
Book Review
English (U.S.)
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Wayward Puritans - Kai T. Erikson, Brief Description of the Book (Book Review Sample)


The book review should be 4-5 pages long. When writing your paper, please organize and use the following headings to organize your review:
Please provide one paragraph that introduces the book. In your introduction, provide a brief discussion regarding what you thought about the book. You should end the introduction with an outline detailing what you intend to focus on in your book review. Briefly tell the reader what major themes you will be discussing in your critical review.
Brief Description of the Book
Please provide one to two paragraphs providing a basic description of the book. Make sure you include a description of the major themes the author is trying to point out.
Critical Review
Give your own critical assessment of a few of the major themes outlined in the book. Be sure to refer back to the book (using ASA referencing style) to support your chosen themes/dialog. When you reference, you must use ASA. This critical review should be about 2-3 pages long.
Closing Comments and Reflections
This should be one half to one page in length. Wrap up your arguments and critiques, emphasizing once again the points you have been focusing on throughout your review.


Wayward Puritans - Kai T. Erikson
Institution Affiliation
The book “Wayward Puritans” was written in the seventeenth century setting of New England in Massachusetts and analyses how deviant behaviors are perceived by different members of the society. Deviant behaviors are actions that are against the social expectations and rules that guide and govern members of a society. The author draws his assessments in showing that deviant behaviors in the society are not all harmful by combining historical facts from the Bay colony and sociology. Furthermore the author highlights the importance of criminals in the society based on the services they provide. He also focuses on categories of deviation and the ideas behind community boundaries. He finally writes that over time volumes of deviation remain constant. The paper purports to review these major themes that the author has focused on (Scribbles, 2011).
Brief Description of the Book
Erikson breaks down his thoughts in five sections with an introductory that speaks about the different levels and standards of deviance in the society. He mentions that deviant behaviors change with the frequent changes in cultural and moral boundaries. He seeks further support from two authors Emile Durkheim and George Herbert who also recognize the naturality and benefits of deviant behaviors in the society. The author argues against the poor state of institutions that the society has set aside for the deviant and that these places champion for complete separation of the deviant from the rest of the society which only result in instilling more criminal skills to the amateur deviants. The author then takes us through the historical happenings of the Puritans of Massachusetts Bay at a time when England was going through drastic changes. The Monarch, Henry VIII had a severe relationship with the Roman Catholic Church. Efforts by Queen Elizabeth to reconcile matters proved futile and over time things got worse and necessitated the Puritans to depart for America (Scribbles, 2011). The Puritans considered themselves Gods chosen people and as a result challenged and opposed the political system, the throne and the church. They governed themselves with the laws in the bible that advocated for common law. The author then shares how hard it was to identify the Puritans but their ideologies and feelings were easily recognizable.
The author also explores and analyses from history the crime waves that characterized the first six decades of New England. He examines The Antinomian Controversy of 1636 that depicted the misfortunes of Anne Hutchinson, a very vocal and opinionated lady who raised serious concerns about several ministers of the church. These attributes however proved to be her downfall as she was consequently sentenced to jail and later ex-communicated. The author then puts into perspective the mistreatment of the Quakers who had incorporated concepts of new Puritanism (Scribbles, 2011). He shows how the Quakers that first settled at the Bay had their properties destroyed and got persecuted. The final crime wave “the witchcraft hysteria of 1692” occurred after

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