In The Night Battles and Ecstasies, Ginzburg traced a complex path from certain European witch persecutions to the benandanti and a wide variety of practices which he describes as evidence of a substrate of shamanic cults in Europe. His 1999 work, The Judge and the Historian, sought to expose injustice in the trial of Adriano Sofri , but failed to win a new trial. His book was not only about Sofri, but was also a general reflection on the scientific methods used by a historian, and their similarity to the work of a judge, who also has to correlate testimonies with material evidence in order to deduce what really happened. Thus, he explains how the judicial model of early historiography made it focus on easily verifiable facts, resulting in studies that centered on individuals or on what Lucien Febvre and Marc Bloch called in the Annales d'histoire économique et sociale an "evenemential history." In his book History, Rhetoric, and Proof (1999), he opposes the ancient rhetoric of Aristotle to the modern rhetoric of Nietzche. 
English readers must thank Lynne Sharon Schwartz, Seven Stories Press for adding this volume of the best of Italian letters of the 20 th century to our storehouse of culture, as well as the Perugia Italian Language School for introducing Natalia Ginzburg to its studentswhere also Ms. Schwartz first read Ginzburgs essays. The selections from three collections of Ginzburg essays included in this volume reflect well the writers deceptively simple language, her sense of duty to her writing "craft" as she herself calls it, her sensibility and thirst for truth, and her love for the "essay." Ms. Schwartzs excellent selections stress the significance of her home city of Turin, of fascism, anti-fascism, and the war on this writer who, without the necessity of the Untouchable classification, was already widely recognized in her lifetime, especially by other writers.