Book Reviews

 If you would like to submit a review please contact the Lodge Library. Did you know we had a library?  It's on the 2nd floor and has great books that have been donated to the Lodge over the years.  The books are there for you to borrow.  Please bring them back.  Let us know what you think of the works and any recommendations you may have for the Brothers to read.  Want more?  The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts Library  is a treasure of books that you can check out for 2 months at a time and mail back if you can't get back there.  Check it out.  While you are there take the tour of the Lodge.  It's one of those things that you will say... "I can't believe I didn't do this sooner!"

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Dr. Joseph Warren

The Boston Tea Party, Bunker Hill, and the Birth of American Liberty

By

Samuel A. Forman

 Written by a fellow Harvard Doctor. The author provides a detailed and focused account of the life and death of Dr. Joseph Warren. "A true Patriot" and one of the greatest Masons. The detailed accounts of his life are a true tribute to the man and Brother.  A copy will be available in the library - 2nd floor for you to borrow.

FM bookMackey

“The Symbolism of Freemasonry Illustrating and Explaining Its Science and Philosophy, Its Legends, Myths and Symbols.”

by

Albert Gallatin Mackey

This book is a free download on-line.  This book was first published in 1882.  It can also be found with a number of other books at www.forgottenbooks.org .  Albert Gallatin Mackey (March 12, 1807 – June 20, 1881) was an American medical doctor and author. He is best known for his writing many books and articles about freemasonry, particularly the Masonic Landmarks.  He served as Grand Lecturer and Grand Secretary of The Grand Lodge of South Carolina, as well as Secretary General of the Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States.    This book is not for the neophyte.  Mackey’s writing is impressive, detailed, and enlightening.  The title of the book does just what it says – It elucidates – “The Symbolism of Freemasonry Illustrating and Explaining Its Science and Philosophy, Its Legends, Myths and Symbols.”  Mackey writes in 19th century prose and as if he has just edited the Master Masons cipher book, so break out your “hitherto’s” and your “whence came from’s.”  He wrights with assiduity and connects the symbols and allegories of Freemasonry to the ancient mysteries, cultures and religions of the world.  He explains the symbols down to their ancient origins and provides fascinating facts and details around their true meaning as they apply to the historical, mystical and allegorical history of the Craft.   If you are wanting of more light, Mackey shines.   

 Excerpt from the Book, an illustration and a perfect example of Mackey’s script.  

                                                “XV.” The Point Within A Circle.  

 “The point within a Circle is another symbol of great importance in Freemasonry, and commands peculiar attention in this connection with the ancient symbolism of the universe and the solar orb.  Everybody who has read a Masonic “Monitor” is well acquainted with the usual explanation of this symbol.  We are told that the point represents an individual brother, the circle the boundary line of his duty to God and man, and the two perpendicular parallel lines the patron saints of the order – St. John the Baptist and St. John the evangelist. Now, this explanation, trite and meager as it is, may do very well for the exoteric teaching of the order; but the question at this time is, not how it has been explained by modern lecturers and Masonic system-makers, but what was the ancient interpretation of the symbol, and how should it be read as a sacred hieroglyphic in reference to the true philosophic system which constitutes the real essence and character of Freemasonry.”

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Solomon's Builders

By

Bro. Christopher L. Hodapp

 DID THE FREEMASONS CREATE THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA?

Step back in time to the birth of a revolutionary new republic and discover how the utopian ideals of a visionary secret society laid the foundation for the most powerful nation on earth. Follow George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock and other Founding Fathers as they transform the democratic principles of their Masonic lodges into a radical new nation.

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The Second Messiah: Templers, the Turin Shroud and the Great Secret of Freemasonry

By

Christopher Knight, Robert Lomas

 If you liked "The Hiram Key" you'll enjoy this book. The history of Jacques de Molay is Fascinating! This book changed how I look at the history of Masonry. This book will be available at the Lodge library for you to borrow.

 

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Freemasons

By

Jasper Ridley

Ridley is no friend of the Craft. A critical theme is the undercurrent in which Ridley takes us on a historical ride, throwing out historical facts and dates along the way. The in-depth historical facts are well done and sometimes fascinating. He's quick to criticize and point out who was and who wasn't a Mason. In some cases, the event or the fact that a person was or wasn't a Mason has little or no context to his story. He gives little credit or none at all for the historical events that Masons had taken part in. His account of the American Revolution portrays key figures as important, but that they just happened to be Freemasons. The absence of any mention of Joseph Warren speaks for itself. He does defend the Craft from most of the more outrageous claims, and rightfully points to the inherent secrecy of Masonry that perpetuates mistrust and fear. He also makes valid points about the French Revolution, and how a reputation of a revolutionary membership attracts want to be revolutionaries. He tells the tales of some of the most obscure and bizarre stories that are obviously hand picked to portray the Craft in a bad light. The book will appeal to the hardcore historian.  Freemasonry has a long complicated past, draped in secrecy. His over all observation is that the membership has included Good and Bad men. 

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The Lost Keys of Freemasonry

By

Manly P. Hall

This is a fantastic book and highly recommended. Hall does a great job breaking down the degrees and pointing out in a thoughtful way what it means to be a Mason. It's a quick read, but each sentence gives you pause as it makes you think about where you are on your Masonic journey. Written in the 1920's it still rings true today.  The control that we have over our Desires, Actions and Thoughts are the keys to getting to a worthwhile and fulfilling life. I found this book more useful and enlightening then all 3 of the Claudy books. "The great work of the Master Mason can be called the “art of balance."

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The Sign and the Seal

By

Graham Hancock

The Lost Ark of the Covenant is one of the great historical mysteries of all time. To believers, the Ark is the legendary vessel holding the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments. The Bible contains hundreds of references to the Ark's power to level mountains, destroy armies, and lay waste to cities. The Ark itself, however, mysteriously disappears from recorded history sometime after the building of the Temple of Solomon.  Hancock's book reads like a detective story and he successfully weaves in the story of The Knights Templar involvement and how The Freemasons continue traditions and rituals related to the scriptures and history surrounding the Ark. This well-worn book is a 500 page commitment, but very entertaining in a great part because of his real adventure in creating the story. "Saint Bernard, What is God? - He is length, width, height, and depth." This book, along with other good reads are available on the 2nd floor of the Lodge for you to borrow.