The Enemy Within: A Short History of Witch-Hunting

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9780143116332: The Enemy Within: A Short History of Witch-Hunting

With the vision of a historian and the voice of a novelist, prize?winning author John Demos explores the social, cultural, and psychological roots of the scourge that is witch-hunting, both in the remote past and today. The Enemy Within chronicles the most prominent witch-hunts of the Western world?women and men who were targeted by suspicious neighbors and accused of committing horrific crimes by supernatural means?and shows how the fear of witchcraft has fueled recurrent cycles of accusation, persecution, and purging. A unique and fascinating book, it illumines the dark side of communities driven to rid themselves of perceived evil, no matter what the human cost.

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About the Author:

John Demos is Samuel Knight Professor of history at Yale University. He is the author of several histories of early America, including Entertaining Satan, which was awarded the Bancroft Prize in American History, and The Unredeemed Captive, which received the Francis Parkman and Ray Allen Billington prizes in American history and was a finalist for the National Book Award. He lives in Tyringham, Massachusetts.

Review:

"No scholar has done more to illuminate the terrifying psychology of witchcraft in Western culture than John Demos. "The Enemy Within" is a masterful synthesis of this phenomenon, stretching over 2000 years, from its origins in Europe through the Salem witch trials, the Red-hunting campaigns of Senator Joe McCarthy, and the modern-day hysteria surrounding Satanic cults and sensational child abuse charges. An elegant writer, a brilliant historical investigator, Demos is the perfect guide for this rich and fascinating journey."
--David Oshinsky, winner of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize in History for "Polio: An American Story" and author of "A Conspiracy so Immense: The World of Joe McCarthy"
aOnly John Demos could write this book! In succinct and well-written chapters, Demos introduces readers to the ways in which anger and fear have caused western societies to turn inward in panics we now call witch-hunts. "The Enemy Within," simultaneously sweeping and specific, broadens Demos's earlier work on witchcraft in seventeenth-century New England into a thought-provoking and wide-ranging study.a
--Mary Beth Norton, author of "In the Devil's Snare"
aA searing story, and a remarkable read. Unlike most historians, Demos does not flinch from taking us up close to real characters. We see the world through the eyes of men and women accused of witchcraft by neighbors they had known for years, as he probes the psychodynamics at work in this terrible experience. In a distillation of a lifetime's research, Demos, who is the foremost scholar of early American witchcraft, reveals patterns that go back to the European middle ages and explains how shifting interpretations of Salem reflect itsplace at the heart of the American psyche.a
--Lyndal Roper, Professor of Early Modern History, Balliol College, Oxford

"There is no one better qualified to tell these stories and write a general history of witch-hunting than John Demos."
-"The Boston Globe"

" No scholar has done more to illuminate the terrifying psychology of witchcraft in Western culture than John Demos. "The Enemy Within" is a masterful synthesis of this phenomenon."
-David Oshinsky, author of "Polio: An American Story", winner of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize in history

" Demos compresses events over two millennia . . . with minimal grisliness, a spirited style, and by hanging enough historical wallpaper for a newcomer to the subject to feel at home."
-"The Seattle Times"

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. With the vision of an historian and the voice of a novelist, prize-winning author John Demos explores the social, cultural and psychological roots of the scourge that is witch-hunting, both in the remote past and today. The Enemy Within chronicles the most prominent witch-hunts of the Western world - women and men who were targeted by suspicious neighbours and accused of committing horrific crimes by supernatural means - and shows how the fear of witchcraft has fueled recurrent cycles of accusation, persecution and purging. A unique and fascinating book, it illuminates the dark side of communities driven to rid themselves of perceived evil, no matter what the human cost. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780143116332

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. With the vision of an historian and the voice of a novelist, prize-winning author John Demos explores the social, cultural and psychological roots of the scourge that is witch-hunting, both in the remote past and today. The Enemy Within chronicles the most prominent witch-hunts of the Western world - women and men who were targeted by suspicious neighbours and accused of committing horrific crimes by supernatural means - and shows how the fear of witchcraft has fueled recurrent cycles of accusation, persecution and purging. A unique and fascinating book, it illuminates the dark side of communities driven to rid themselves of perceived evil, no matter what the human cost. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780143116332

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