Stacy Schiff: The Witches: Salem, 1692

In Conversation With historian Jon Wiener
Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Episode Summary

The panic began in 1692, when a minister’s daughter began to scream and convulse. It ended less than a year later, but not before 19 men and women had been hanged and an elderly man crushed to death. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Véra (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov) and Cleopatra unpacks the fantastical story of the Salem Witch Trials in her latest seminal work, The Witches. Aside from suffrage, the Salem Witch Trials represent the only moment in the shaping of the future republic when women played a central role in American history. Hear from one of our most acclaimed historians as she unveils one of the first great American mysteries.

Participant(s) Bio

Stacy Schiff is the author of Véra (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov), winner of the Pulitzer Prize; Saint-Exupéry, Pulitzer Prize finalist; A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America, winner of the George Washington Book Prize; and Cleopatra: A Life. Schiff has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities and an award in literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Named a 2011 Library Lion by the New York Public Library, she lives in New York City.

Jon Wiener is a contributing editor to The Nation magazine and a professor of history at the University of California – Irvine, where he specializes in recent American history. His books include: Historians in Trouble: Plagiarism, Fraud and Politics in the Ivory Tower, Gimme Some Truth: The John Lennon FBI Files; Professors, Politics and Pop; and Come Together: John Lennon in His Time. Wiener hosts an afternoon drive-time radio program on KPFK-90.7 FM featuring interviews on politics and culture.