Historian Stacy Schiff to Discuss Politics and Paranoia at Hancock Shaker Village

Stacy Schiff (photo Elena Seibert)

(HANCOCK, Mass.) – Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Stacy Schiff will discuss the intersection of politics and paranoia as part of the Food for Thought monthly dinner series at Hancock Shaker Village on Friday, July 14, at 6pm. A native of Adams, Mass., who majored in art history at Williams College, Schiff is a best-selling author whose most recent book is “The Witches: Salem 1692.” Over a farm-to-table dinner, Schiff will talk about the witch trials: what we know, what we think we know, and what we should know.

“Settlements were isolated and lit with only smoky fires, which fed vivid imagination. New Englanders lived very much in the dark, where one listens more acutely, feels most passionately, and imagines most vividly, where the sacred and the occult thrive,” writes Schiff.   “The Witches” entailed voluminous research, and Schiff conjures up late-17th-century New England with gripping detail.

Schiff is the author of numerous biographies, as well as essays and articles have appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, and the New York Review of Books. Schiff won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for “Vera,” a biography of Vera Nabokov, wife and muse of Vladimir Nabokov. Her biography “Cleopatra” was #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. She was also a finalist for the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography for “Saint-Exupéry: A Biography.”

The evening includes a seasonal, neighborhood sourced, three-course dinner prepared by noted regional chef Brian Alberg, wine, and a copy of the author’s book.

Dinner with Stacy Schiff is part of a series of important authors talking about far-ranging subjects of relevance today. Far ahead of their time, the Shakers addressed issues as far ranging as gender equality, sustainability, land renewal, racial equality, pacifism, and shared economies decades before fashionable, let alone there being a vocabulary to address such subjects.

Hancock Shaker Village’s Food for Thought is a monthly dinner series with today’s best thinkers, who address topics of relevance to our world today. The next Food for Thought dinner in the series is Friday, August 11, with Elizabeth Kolbert, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the New York Times bestseller “The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History.”



Home to the Shakers for more than 220 years, Hancock Shaker Village is now an outdoor history museum dedicated to preserving the Shaker legacy and making that story relevant and illuminating for today’s visitors. Situated on 750 acres of picturesque farm, field, and woodland in the bucolic Berkshires of Massachusetts, the Village consists of 20 historic buildings, a working farm and heirloom gardens, and a premier collection of 22,000 authentic Shaker artifacts.



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