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A BookSense Pick, this well-researched book by a respected historian has managed to stand out among the many political books released in 2004, and unlike many of them,remains current for the foreseeable future.Most Americans would like to think that our modern-day leaders are more enlightened than the witch-hunting Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. But are they? Is it possible that people like Paul Wolfowitz, Dick Cheney, and even George W. Bush are just the modern-day equivalents of Cotton Mather, John Hathorne, and William Phips? Frances Hill finds a frightening resemblance, and hopes that by remembering the past we can avoid repeating it.The events are, of course, very different. The Puritans twisted a popular fear of imaginary spectral forces to bolster their ideological agendas, power and wealth. Today's neoconservatives are twisting the very real public fear of terrorism for those same ends.We know how the story of the witch hunts ends. The modern equivalent is still under way, with far more chilling ramifications for the future of humanity.