Witch: A Tale of Terror

  • by Charles MacKay, Sam Harris - introduction
  • Narrated by Sam Harris
  • 3 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

For centuries in Europe, innocent men and women were murdered for the imaginary crime of witchcraft. This was a mass delusion and moral panic, driven by pious superstition and a deadly commitment to religious conformity. In Witch: A Tale of Terror, best-selling author Sam Harris introduces and reads from Charles Mackay's beloved book Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

An uncomfortable reminder of the power of belief

This well-produced audiobook is introduced and read by author & neuroscientist, Sam Harris, who is also host of the very popular 'Waking Up' podcast. Harris' experience as a podcast host, reader of the audiobook versions of several of his own books and leading light across a diverse field of important public conversations and debates shines through in his measured yet compelling reading.

The subject material concerns the 'Witch Mania' of Early Modern Europe, as described by Charles Mackay in his seminal 1841 book, 'Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds'. The quality of Mackay's writing is excellent and the detailed picture he paints of this extraordinarily tragic (and often gruesome) period (which for Mackay - and even, to some extent, for us now - was relatively recent) conveys in almost palpable terms the ability of individuals and societies to drive themselves into an ever-deeper ditch of terrible suffering when the wheels of their beliefs (which drive their behaviour and much of their experience of the world) run-off the rails of reason.
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- A Stevens

more Sam, please

What made the experience of listening to Witch: A Tale of Terror the most enjoyable?

Sam's choices from the text, and delightful reading.

Any additional comments?

I'd like to encourage Sam to do more short audiobooks like this where he excerpts some of his favorite books, does a preface, and then reads selections. I'd buy them all.

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- aspidistra

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-13-2017
  • Publisher: Four Elephants Press