What are the roots of American Freemasonry?
What do Freemasons know and acknowledge about the history of their society?
What truth is there in the legends of Masonic origins in the fabled Knights Templar ... or the ancient Egyptian mysteries?
What is the Mason-Mormon connection?
Were Masons involved in the American Revolution and, if so, in what way?
Is it possible to unlock the secrets of the Masonic code?
Does America have a secret history?
Readers will come away from Peter Levenda's thorough and engagingly written book with many of the answers to these questions about Freemasonry, the fraternal organization that has risen from obscure roots to boasting a worldwide membership of more than 5 million people. Freemasonry is thus a large subject, and Levenda's study provides a history of the Society, highlighting important events, and including some of the more controversial and newsworthy aspects (rumors of satanic rites and nefarious plots) of an organization that boasted George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Paul Revere, Samuel Adams and so many other Founding Fathers as members Masonic elements to be found in Washington. This is the perfect guide for anyone who wants to delve a little deeper into the mysteries of, and answers behind, Freemasonry.
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Peter Levenda is the author of The Secret Temple: Masons, Mysteries and the Founding of America (Continuum, 2009) and Unholy Alliance: A History of Nazi Involvement with the Occult (Continuum, 2002), which has appeared in 6 foreign-language editions.From Publishers Weekly:
With all the mystery surrounding the Freemasons, along with the recent vogue in secret societies (see The Da Vinci Code and its many followers), it's hard to see how historian Levenda (Unholy Alliance: A History of Nazi Involvement with the Occult) managed such a dry treatment. Though it's perfectly acceptable, even laudable, that Levenda seeks to dispel the mythic, romanticized construct of the Freemasons in favor of provable facts, he drains the magic from their history without answering any of his questions-most notably, "Is it possible to understand Masonry without being a Mason?"-in a meaningful way. Without a narrative line, Levenda skips from tangent to tangent, producing what is more or less a catalogue of his unsynthesized research. Whole sections pass without any conclusions being reached, and while Levenda certainly isn't responsible for all the answers, readers will expect more than a complex set of historical data jazzed with occasional factoids and appearances from other secret societies like the Illuminati and Yale's Skull and Bones. Readers interested in the secrets of Freemasonry will be surely disappointed, and history buffs will grow quickly frustrated with Levenda's poor organization and sleepy prose.
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