Witch hunts: McCarthyism, Maleficarum and memory

Salem witchcraft trial in late 17th-century New England, illustration of 1876 (© Wikipedia)

In this programme, we look at three tales of witch hunting:  McCarthyism – the wave of political witch hunts in 1950’s America. We hear about the persecution of those accused of witchcraft in 16th and 17th century Europe, and we learn about the crafty tricks and spells of memory. The guests are the late Howard Zinn, professor of American history at Boston University, Hans de Waardt, a specialist in the history of early modern European magic and witchcraft and  Elizabeth Loftus, professor of psychology and law at the University of Washington and specialist in eyewitness reports and False Memory Syndrome.

Producer: Dheera Sujan

Broadcast: January 4, 2002