4 of 5 stars ****
This book is well researched and very interesting. The descendants of the real characters from Salem of 1692 are quite different than the personalities that populate this story. Stacy Schiff does an excellent job presenting the documentation in a professional manner. All of that information can read a little dry, at times, but the knowledge that this is the actual history of this Massachusetts colony intrigues the reader.
Schiff provides a privileged peek into the psycho-social interactions of a British colony led by a sophisticated Harvard graduate whose border disputes, tax structures, and religious hysteria cause strife and shame upon the people who perpetuate the madness with a conversion of fear and hate into Satan's mischief. The Witches: Salem, 1692, demonstrates that bad decisions coupled with bad enforcement of such decisions breeds the worst results. Salem, Massachusetts, is forever a reference to man's attempt to control human behavior based on one's interpretation of man's law rather than observing God's law with the compassion of the Gospel, the teachings and example of Jesus Christ.