Book Breaks

Gilder Lehrman Book Breaks features the most exciting history scholars in America discussing their books live with Book Breaks hosts, followed by a Q&A with home audiences. 

Every Sunday at 2 p.m. ET (11 a.m. PT)

Student Question Submission Competition

Middle and high school students (age 13 and up), submit your questions for one of the historians being featured on Book Breaks! If your question is chosen, it will be announced live on the program and both you and your teacher will win a $50 gift certificate to the Gilder Lehrman Gift Shop. Your question can be about the book or the topic in general. Please, only one submission per program.

Submit your question here.

The deadline to submit a question for the upcoming Book Breaks is Thursday.

Upcoming Book Breaks



October 31, 2021 - John Demos discusses his book The Enemy Within: 2,000 Years of Witch-Hunting in the Western World

With the vision of a historian and the voice of a novelist, prize-winning author John Demos explores the social, cultural, and psychological roots of the scourge that is witch-hunting, both in the remote past and today. The Enemy Within chronicles the most prominent witch-hunts of the Western world—women and men who were targeted by suspicious neighbors and accused of committing horrific crimes by supernatural means—and shows how the fear of witchcraft has fueled recurrent cycles of accusation, persecution, and purging. A unique and fascinating book, it illuminates the dark side of communities driven to rid themselves of perceived evil, no matter what the human cost.

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John Demos is the Samuel Knight Professor of History at Yale University, where he began teaching in 1986. He is a social historian of early America whose work, Circles and Lines: The Shape of Life in Early America (Harvard University Press, 2004), is an illuminating portrait of how colonial Americans, from the first settlers to the post-revolutionary generation, viewed their life experiences.

Demos received his MA from the University of California at Berkeley in 1961. Among his publications are The Unredeemed Captive: A Family Story from Early America (Knopf, 1994), which received the Francis Parkman and Ray Allen Billington prizes in American history and was a finalist for the National Book Award in general nonfiction, and Entertaining Satan: Witchcraft and the Culture of Early New England (Oxford University Press, 1982), for which he received the Bancroft Prize in American History.

Order The Enemy Within at the Gilder Lehrman Book Shop

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Coming Soon

Mary Sarotte and Not One Inch: America, Russia, and the Making of Post-Cold War Stalemate
H. W. Brands
and Our First Civil War: Patriots and Loyalists in the American Revolution
Claude Clegg and The Black President: Hope and Fury in the Age of Obama
Bruce Levine and Thaddeus Stevens: Civil War Revolutionary, Fighter for Racial Justice
Joseph J Ellis and The Cause: The American Revolution and Its Discontents 1773-1783
Melanie Kirkpatrick and Lady Editor: Sarah Josepha Hale and the Making of the Modern American Woman
Allen Guelzo and Robert E. Lee: A Life

October 24, 2021 - Louis Menand discussed his book The Free World: Art and Thought in the Cold War.

Order The Free World at the Gilder Lehrman Book Shop

View the full archive of past sessions