One of the most notorious books in history. Thousands of innocent people, especially women, lost their lives at its expense. First published around 1489, shortly after the invention of the printing press and five years after a papal bull was issued legitimizing the belief in witches. It went through at least 30 printings and became the handbook for witch hunters, both Protestant and Catholic. Bishops and secular authorities could prosecute witches if there were no representatives from the Inquisition around, with this book giving full directions. Some villages were left with as few as two women. So if this book is so bad, why should one read it? Because there are lessons to be learned, both psychologically and historically, and there is an ignorance to overcome. This is a fascinating study of mass hysteria, greed, and delusional behavior.