Gerald Messadie, bestselling historian and critic, argues that true evil lies not in the non-existence of the devil, as claimed by Baudelaire, but in the belief of his very existence. A History of the Devil is an exploration of the personification of evil across cultures and ages. Messadie reveals that the concept of the 'Satan of Judeo-Christian mythology' is in fact a recent construct. Throughout his seventeen chapters, he examines the role of evil in major civilizations and the evolution of the devil's various incarnations. Messadie argues that belief in the devil is a tool used by those in power, from prosecutors of the Spanish Inquisition to Cold Warriors. Abundant in historical references and cultural analyses, A History of the Devil shows that religious fanaticism around the world today is linked to this belief.