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Entertaining Satan

Witchcraft and the Culture of Early New England

Updated Edition

John Putnam Demos

Publication Date - November 2004

ISBN: 9780195174830

576 pages
5-5/16 x 8 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $24.99

The Bancroft Prize-winning work on American witchcraft, now in an updated edition


In the first edition of the Bancroft Prize-winning Entertaining Satan, John Putnam Demos presented an entirely new perspective on American witchcraft. By investigating the surviving historical documents of over a hundred actual witchcraft cases, he vividly recreated the world of New England during the witchcraft trials and brought to light fascinating information on the role of witchcraft in early American culture. Now Demos has revisited his original work and updated it to illustrate why these early Americans' strange views on witchcraft still matter to us today. He provides a new preface that puts forth a broader overview of witchcraft and looks at its place around the world--from ancient times right up to the present.

About the Author(s)

John Putnam Demos is Samuel Knight Professor of History at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. He is the author of A Little Commonwealth: Family Life in Plymouth Colony and The Unredeemed Captive: A Family Story from Early America.


"A book that will rank with the best, a book that shows how much we still may learn from these people. This is not simply a monograph on witchcraft but a major attempt to understand the kind of society and the kind of culture in which witchcraft had a place. Rich in insights."--The New York Review of Books

"A remarkable piece of scholarship. Vividly illustrates what made certain individuals vulnerable to charges of witchcraft."--The New York Times Book Review

"History in such capable hands becomes much more than a chronicle: it makes the past seem as vivid and dimensional, and every bit as compelling, as the present."--Newsweek

"With the publication of this book, the historical study of American witchcraft finally comes of age."--American Historical Review

"Beautifully written and exhaustively researched."--Virginia Quarterly Review

"Well written and easy to read.... More than a history of witchcraft. It is placed within the wider social context and is thus a history of early New England culture.... Very well documented."--History: Reviews of New Books

"A work that sets the stage for the eruption in Salem and promises to transform the terms in which we understand that extravagant episode.... A rewarding and fascinating achievement well worth reading."--American History Illustrated

"Demos has done an excellent job of researching a subject of great interest today."--William C. Viser, Ouachita Baptist University

"An ambitious, informative work."--Paul Tiverow, Missouri Southern State College

"Brilliant."--Herbert Cederberg, University of Wisconsin

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