This ebook demolishes all the fake history that Christians and Wiccans have both built up around witchcraft. Yes he got a few dates wrong, but the typo list on his website says a new edition will be out in August without the mistakes. I think the sarcasm this ebook is getting has more to do with exploded myths and lies that some famous Pagan authors and founders of Wiccan trads have built careers on than anything else.
The book is fun to read but gives readers solid historical information and a great book list to let them go further. He seems to know that the Goddess is Eternal even if Wicca is young, that the only Devil worshipping witches were invented by the Christians, and that *honest* scholarship can mix with *honest* faith. He also includes an explanation of *why* Wiccan rituals are they way they are and how to make them better!
I recommend this to everyone who wants a concentrated blast of reality about old and new Witchcraft.
As a practicing Witch for better than 30 years and a "Wiccan elder" I highly recommend this book for a good and truly concise history of Wicca. In typical Bonewits fashion he is short on neither humour nor opinion as he takes us on a succinct tour of our roots. His research is impeccable and littered liberally with personal experience from one who was an integral part of the Neo-Pagan beginning. If Mr. Bonewits gives us nothing else he has verbalized one truth in one clear and simple statement as only he can:
"The deities ...witches worship are ancient, no matter how new our religion or our insights about Them might be."
If I can find any fault with a Concise History, it is perhaps that it is too concise and left me wanting more. Fortunately the extensive bibliography affords me the opportunity to research as far as I choose. Witchcraft: A Concise History will be required reading for any class I teach on the subject. Although the e-book text was surprisingly easy to read I personally can't wait until it comes out as a paperback so I can add it to my real world library...but don't wait.