The Witches Book Review Essay

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Critique of Book Reviews “The Witches”, written by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, Stacey Schiff, retells the meticulous and disturbing history of the Salem Witch trials that struck Massachusetts in 1692. Amy Gentry from the Chicago Tribune, Lara Feigel a writer for The Guardian, and Buzzy Jackson a Globe Correspondent with the Boston Globe comply that Schiff turned this spine-chilling tale into a fantasy that not only made it clearer of the events but, also uses the story as a cautionary account of our own human tendencies. “The Witches” is a tale of bloodthirsty spirits that are still haunting American soil, according to Amy Gentry. “Righteous ignorance and casuistic self-interest are the twin forces that propelled the trials to catastrophic…show more content…
While writing Schiff never distanced herself or the reader from the human experience recounted in “The Witches”. That is why I think this book is so good even with all the tragedy it withholds; it gives you the first-hand experience of the events that went on in those long nine months for the Puritan community. Within Jackson’s review, she briefly talks about the primary sources used and how Schiff synthesized them to her own erudite chronicle of a community in crisis from its estrange start to its wretched finish. Throughout Jackson’s review she focuses on the women of the community and the powerful political leaders and their attempt to wipe such an event from its history books. Jackson requotes Schiff saying, “Salem was a community of maniacal record-keepers, but they made an exception for 1692.” From Jackson’s review it is obvious she has a great amount knowledge on the topic of the Salem Witch trials and that she thoroughly read the story “The Witches”. It is evident from the amount of detail she used in her review, the number of direct quotes she used from Schiff, and the extra background history she
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