A satire on both popular ideas of the devil and the very nature of mankind, The Political History of the Devil has long been lauded as a classic of its kind. In this unusual work, Daniel Defoe mocks the traditional idea of the devil, portraying human beings as more capable of ingenious crimes than the cloven-hoofed protagonist could ever have conceived. We are shown the devil returning to earth, shocked at man's actions, and shocked still further to find himself being blamed for them.
Defoe proceeds to look at the role of the modern monarchs, tyrants and their conflicts, and shows in his elegant and piquant style how much, or indeed how little, the devil's influence was ever-present. A comic look at the progress of the world, this is a stylish work in which the author delights in biting observation, and leaves in his wake more than a whiff of brimstone.