Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Witches: The Absolutely True Tale of Disaster in Salem


Witches: The Absolutely True Tale of Disaster in Salem
by Rosalyn Schanzer
National Geographic, 2011. 144 pgs. Non-fiction.

Rosalyn Schanzer's powerful pictures combine with her chilling text to tell the tale of one of the darkest episodes in American History. Nineteen people were hanged during the Salem Witchcraft Trials, one died from being pressed to death, and from four to seventeen others died in prison. Schanzer tells the stories of each victim in a calm, understated prose that heightens the horror of regular people imprisoned and executed on the basis of Spectral Evidence generally given by hysterical/mentally ill/or malicious children. Irrational fears and grievously misplaced zeal led to misery and tragedy for many families in Puritan New England, and Rosalyn Schanzer's remarkable book tells the tale for young people in an impressive fashion.

2 comments:

marsha j said...

I am a sucker for non-fiction. This looks like a great book to read in preparation for Halloween--I have put it on my "to read" list. Thanks for the review!

marsha j said...

I read this on Halloween. :) I am sooooo glad I live where and when I do!! This was a very fast, fascinating, thorough, well researched and well written book--I really liked the way that Schanzer told the story. Wow, the 1600s were a horrible time to live in so many ways. I have read several other books on this subject, but still learned a lot from this one. Thanks for letting me know about it.