Norman Cohn


Norman Rufus Colin Cohn (1915–2007), a Fellow of the British Academy, wrote three major histories around a single theme.

 

The Pursuit of the Millennium (1957) related the apocalyptic beliefs of twentieth-century totalitarian movements, whether Nazi or Communist, to their origins in medieval heresy.

 

Warrant for Genocide (1967) established that the key document of a Jewish world conspiracy, The Protocol of the Elders of Zion, was a nineteenth-century Tsarist forgery.

 

Europe's Inner Demons (1975) argued that the belief in a Satanic pact was at the heart of witch persecution in early modern Europe.


The Guardian's obituary of Norman Cohn is available here.

 

William Lamont's obituary of Norman Cohn in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography is available here (subscription required).