John Putnam Demos

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John Putnam Demos is an American author and historian. He has written two books which discuss witch-hunts and has discovered that one of his own ancestors was John Putnam Senior, ancestor of the Putnam family which was prominent in the Salem witch trials.[1]

Demos was awarded the prestigious Bancroft Prize for his book Entertaining Satan. He was awarded the 1995 Francis Parkman Prize for his book The Unredeemed Captive: A Family Story From Early America.

He retired in December 2008 as the Samuel Knight Professor of History at Yale University, USA.[2]

Demos lives in Tyringham, Massachusetts and is currently working on a new book.


  • Entertaining Satan - Witchcraft and the Culture of Early New England, Oxford University Press, London, 1982 ISBN 0-19-503378-7
  • A Little Commonwealth: Family Life in Plymouth Colony
  • The Unredeemed Captive: A Family Story from Early America (Winner of the Ray Allen Billington Award)
  • The Enemy Within: 2,000 Years of Witch-Hunting in the Western World
  • Editor, Remarkable Providences
  • Past, Present, and Personal: The Family and the Life Course in American History
  • The Heathen School: A Story of Hope and Betrayal in the Age of the Early Republic