Anthony Comegna received his M.A. (2012) and Ph.D. (2016) in history from the University of Pittsburgh, where he specialized in early American, intellectual, and Atlantic history. His dissertation, “The Dupes of Hope Forever:” The Loco‐Foco or Equal Rights Movement, 1820s‐1870s, revives the submerged and forgotten legacy of locofocoism. Anthony has taught undergraduate courses in American history and Western Civilization. He produces regular historical content for Libertarianism.org and is the writer/host of Liberty Chronicles. He currently works at the Institute for Humane Studies as the Academic Programs Design Manager.
William Godwin’s Lives of the Necromancers was an exceptional libertarian author’s most unusual book. Exposing all things occult, Godwin takes us from the mists of ancient existence to the dawning of modernity. Throughout the ages, there have been those who would keep knowledge secret, monopolizing its power for their own aggrandizement. Those wealthy, powerful, and educated few who could best exploit the people’s credulity could best satisfy the will to power. Christianity and Renaissance combined to break the knowledge‐monopolists’ power and occultists gradually became relegated to the ranks of court astrologers, advisors, fever‐brained mystics, and peripatetic hucksters. Godwin leaves readers with a confident assertion that witchcraft has left the world, dispelled by the light of science and reason. Modern readers, however, will no doubt leave this volume wondering—Who are our Necromancers? What wonders might they be keeping from us? And to what end?