Sunday, October 14, 2012

OCTOBER EVENTS! What a Weapon is the Ballot...Book talks and signings....Come and share music and books with us!

Jim Dalton and Maggi Smith-Dalton
Join us at these upcoming events
(All events are free and open to the Public unless otherwise noted):

A Celebration of American Music 4 with Jim and Maggi Dalton
Saturday, October 27, 2012 - 8:00 PM
The Boston Conservatory, 8 The Fenway, Seully Hall, Boston, MA

What a Weapon is the Ballot! Political Campaign Songs from Washington to Nixon
Take a break from the current election campaign by visiting the sounds, issues, scandals and mayhem of campaigns of the past. This non-partisan (they are ALL equally entertaining) program covers 200 years of American political infighting, including both winners and losers of past elections. Jim and Maggi Dalton will be joined by guest musicians from the Conservatory's faculty.
Books and recordings will be available for sale


Just published: A History of Spiritualism and the Occult in Salem: The Rise of Witch City
by Maggi Smith-Dalton

Copyright © 2012 by Maggi Smith-Dalton
ISBN 978.1.60949.551.0
Library of Congress CIP data applied for.
Published by The History Press Charleston, SC 29403

The story told by Maggi Smith-Dalton in "A History of Spiritualism and the Occult in Salem: The Rise of Witch City," just published by The History Press, is not what you might expect in book about 19th-century Salem, Massachusetts.

Spiritualism was an important element in 19th-century culture, in America and indeed worldwide. Salem provided fertile ground for the growth of this and other religions, yet, because of its link to witchcraft in the infamous trials of 1692 -- a serious and persistent black mark on the town's reputation -- struggled with anything which might give more fuel to the fire of being linked to occult practices.

Smith-Dalton's book examines this struggle and the elements that went into the gradual evolution of Salem towards what we would recognize as the Salem of today. The popularity of Spiritualism and renewed interest in the occult blossomed out of an attempt to find an intellectual and emotional balance between science and religion. Smith-Dalton's book explores the influence of the historical memory of the Salem witch trials on the development of alternative religions in 19th century New England culture.

It also tells a larger story about the way alternative religions such as Spiritualism grew in 19th century America, using Salem, a town that prided itself on its arts, culture, professional class, and love of science, as the connecting thread. In her second book for The History Press, historian Maggi Smith-Dalton delves into Salem’s exotic history, unraveling the beginnings of Spiritualism and the rise of The Witch City.

About the author:

Maggi Smith-Dalton began her singing career in cabarets and nightclubs and has maintained a parallel career as a historian most of her life. With her husband, Jim, she tours nationwide as a concert artist. They are specialists in "19th- & Early 20th-Century Music, History, and Culture From Parlor and Stage" on period & period-appropriate instruments, performed in historically-informed style.

Maggi is also a prizewinning short story writer and has a long history of writing feature articles and columns for magazines and newspapers. Most recently, she wrote a weekly history column for the Boston Globe ( (2010-12), and continues to freelance for print and online publications.

Maggi holds a master's degree in American Studies, and her current scholarly work focuses on historic civic rituals that incorporate music as a primary element, a subject on which she has presented domestically and abroad.

Maggi is president of the Institute for Music, History and Cultural Traditions, which runs two public programs: the American History and Music Project and the Salem History Society. In 2010, she was elected to the council of the New England American Studies Association.

"A History of Spiritualism" is her second book with The History Press; "Stories and Shadows from Salem's Past" was published in 2010. For more information: Go to Our Website

She loves to garden and usually can be found muttering to herself as she happily rakes, plants, feeds and waters various living things, including herself. The squirrels, it is rumored, are used to her soliloquies by now, although one wonders what the neighbors think.

A History of Spiritualism and the Occult in Salem: The Rise of Witch City
ISBN 978.1.60949.551.0

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Author signing
When: 9/15/12 1 p.m.
Where: The Spirit of ’76-2 Bookstore
450 Paradise Road Swampscott, MA
Tel: 781-581-7676

Author talk and signing
When: 10/26/12 7 pm
Where: Artemesia Botanicals
Hawthorne Blvd. Salem, MA

Author signing at The Boston Book Festival
When: 10/27/12 Noon to 2 p.m.
Where: Copley Square
At The History Press Booth

Author Illustrated Talk/Signing
When: 10/28/12 2 p.m.
Where: Abbott Public Library
235 Pleasant Street  Marblehead, MA (781) 631-1480

Author Illustrated Talk/Signing
When: 11/8/2012
Where: Boston Public Library Copley Square, Boston, MA
Never Too Late Group
2:00 p.m. in Rabb Lecture Hall

Author signing
When: November or December 2012 Date to be Announced
Where: The Trolley Depot (store), Pedestrian Mall, Salem, MA
possibly also at Salemdipity, Pickering Wharf, Salem, MA

Signed by the author...books are available at the AMAZING Trolley Depot store in downtown Salem!


If you can't make it to Salem or Boston....

Also available from (more TBA)

all books
All products
new book

first book

author page
Maggi Smith-Dalton


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