Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Review: Stacy Schiff’s The Witches By John Semley

Review: Stacy Schiff’s The Witches is a nimbly woven tapestry - The Globe and Mail

The Witches is a book as sensitive to the practicalities and banalities of the colonies as the grander intellectual and religious forces that conspired to propel one of America’s earliest, most memorable and vicious ordeals. Like all historical traumas, the Salem trials linger in the imagination because they seem like nothing less than the structural collapse of the whole project of humanity; a failure of civilization itself. The evil that men do has a way of diabolically disguising itself in the trappings and suits of logic, reason and civility. But, in the end, such twisted, toxic rationales jury-rigged to justify barbarism, cruelty and the highest forms of inhumanity amount to just so much proverbial duck-weighing.

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