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Witches and Witch-Hunts : A History of Persecution

Meltzer, Milton

70 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0590486306 / ISBN 13: 9780590486309
Published by Scholastic Paperbacks
Used Condition: Fine Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Witches and Witch-Hunts : A History of ...

Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks

Binding: PAPERBACK

Book Condition:Fine

About this title

Synopsis:

Famous for his coverage of controversial subjects, Milton Meltzer explores the devastation that witch-hunts have caused throughout history and uncovers the truth behind the frenzy, prejudice, and discrimination.

Review:

In Milton Meltzer's study of all things witchy, it's all uphill from the first line, which reads simply, "Witches, witches, witches!" A person could get the impression that the author doesn't really have a feel for the possibilities of his subject. Keep reading, though, as this is a humanistic and well-researched history... if a little dry. Meltzer has clearly set out to debunk witch mythology, revealing the way that a community's marginal figures often become persecuted by society. While this is a fine theme, Meltzer seems to have little sense of the kind of gory details that make people, and especially young people, interested in witches in the first place. His book works best when rooted in the specific, as with the chapter "Lady Alice from Kilkenny Town," in which he recounts the folktale of a 14th-century Irish witch, and then shows, through historical research, how her story may have been distorted. While the dry tone may be off-putting to those not already engaged in the subject, kids interested in the occult and in America's colonial history (there's a chapter on Salem, naturally) will find sophisticated explanations of the people we call witches and the witch-hunts we subject them to. --Claire Dederer

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