A fabulous scholarly work by Pulitzer Prize Author Stacy Schiff. At last Samuel Adams is catapulted into his proper and deserved Revolutionary Role! Step aside Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, John Hancock and Paul Revere and make way for the the person who with brilliance of action and pen united the Colonies and made them ready for the Declaration of Independence.

“Why would a people living in the finest climate under the mildest government blessed with land and religious liberty, protected by the greatest power on earth, viscously defy a parent state that had “nursed their tender years”? Samuel Adams blamed that “ancient republican spirit” which the first settlers had planted and which had flourished in the New England soil. ” Samuel Adams had at his disposal a single weapon: the word : liberty.”

When I finished reading The Revolutionary Samuel Adams Broadway’s Hamilton flashed in my mind. Lin Manuel Miranda might find an equal or better subject in Samuel Adams.


Stacy Schiff’s The Witches, Salem 1692 is a work of non fiction by the acclaimed Pulitzer Prize winning author and historian.



For the reader, the vivid descriptions of the Salem Witch Trials is difficult to separate from a historical novel. The task for Schiff was to work from difficult to discover and even harder to discern documentation of what actually occurred during that bitter-cold winter of 1692 in Salem, Massachusetts.

Like several readers I spoke with, some of whom gave up early with these pages, I found it difficult to keep engaged with the flow of the story.  The book is certainly a statement of the times and the confluence of strident religious beliefs, hard living on the first American frontier and plenty of hard cider fueling wild imagination.

The Witches is a must read for students of  witchcraft and for understanding the period and a very strange social order. Allow yourself plenty of time for taking  many necessary page-backs before you mount a broom yourself and fly away in frustration.

Also by Stacy Schiff: Cleopatra.