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The Witches: Salem, 1692

The Witches: Salem, 1692


Book Overview: The Witches: Salem, 1692

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Cleopatra, the #1 national bestseller, unpacks the mystery of the Salem Witch Trials.

It began in 1692, over an exceptionally raw Massachusetts winter, when a minister's daughter began to scream and convulse. It ended less than a year later, but not before 19 men and women had been hanged and an elderly man crushed to death.

The panic spread quickly, involving the most educated men and prominent politicians in the colony. Neighbors accused neighbors, parents and children each other. Aside from suffrage, the Salem Witch Trials represent the only moment when women played the central role in American history. In curious ways, the trials would shape the future republic.

As psychologically thrilling as it is historically seminal, THE WITCHES is Stacy Schiff's account of this fantastical story -- the first great American mystery unveiled fully for the first time by one of our most acclaimed historians.

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Stacy Schiff is an acclaimed American biographer, historian, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author known for her meticulous research and compelling storytelling. Born in Massachusetts, Schiff began her career as a senior editor at Simon & Schuster after graduating from Williams College. Her ability to transform complex histories into vivid, accessible narratives quickly established her as a groundbreaking author in the field of historical biography. Schiff’s most notable works include "A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America," "Cleopatra: A Life," and "The Witches: Salem, 1692." These works not only skillfully resurrect historical characters, but also stimulate meaningful conversations about power, gender, and politics. Her gift for merging historical accuracy with riveting storytelling has garnered her numerous awards including the Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography, awarded for her exceptional biography "Véra (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov)." Schiff's work continues to inspire and educate readers around the globe, proving that history can be both enriching and entertaining. Her detailed portraits of significant figures, woven with intimate details and broader cultural contexts, make her one of the most revered and relevant figures in contemporary historical literature. As a public intellectual, Schiff regularly contributes to the New Yorker, the New York Times, and other prestigious publications, embodying a rare combination of scholarly rigor and popular appeal.

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