THE TERM WITCH-HUNT IS USED TODAY TO DESCRIBE EVERYTHING FROM POLITICAL SCANDALS TO SCHOOL BOARD SHAKEUPS, BUT ITS ORIGINS ARE FAR FROM CASUAL
Long before Arthur Miller likened McCarthyism to the Salem witch trials, and long before those trials themselves, women and men were targeted by suspicious neighbors, accused of committing horrific crimes by supernatural means, scrutinized by magistrates, ministers, and jurymen, and summarily executed. THE ENEMY WITHIN chronicles the most prominenet witch-hunts of the Western World and shows how for two millennia the fear of witchcraft has fueled recurrent cycles of accusation, persecution, and purging. With the vision of a historian and the voice of a novelist, prize-winning author John Demos explores the far-reaching social, cultural, and psyhchological roots of the scourge that is witch-hunting, and reveals the dark side of communities driven to rid themselves of perceived evil, no matter what the human cost.
'No scholar has done more to illuminate the terrifying psychology of witchcraft in Western culture than John Demos. THE ENEMY WITHIN is a mastreful synthesis of this phenomenon.'
- David Oshinsky, author of POLI: AN AMERICAN STORY, winner of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize in history
'Only John Demos could write this book. 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.'
- Mary Beth Norton, author of IN THE DEVIL'S SNARE