The Freemasons: A History of the World's Most Powerful Secret Society

For many centuries, since their founding as a guild comprising the master builders of the great castles and cathedrals of the Middle Ages, the freemasons have enjoyed a dual reputation powerful often munificent rulers, politicians, and artists whose works have enhanced our world and members of a dread secret society bent on evil Here, the eminent historian Jasper RidleyFor many centuries, since their founding as a guild comprising the master builders of the great castles and cathedrals of the Middle Ages, the freemasons have enjoyed a dual reputation powerful often munificent rulers, politicians, and artists whose works have enhanced our world and members of a dread secret society bent on evil Here, the eminent historian Jasper Ridley offers a thoughtful, rounded assessment of freemasonry throughout the ages, from its origins up to the present day Not a mason himself, Ridley nonetheless refutes many of the outrageous allegations made against the order and puts into proper perspective its many contributions to civilization over the centuries.
The Freemasons A History of the World s Most Powerful Secret Society For many centuries since their founding as a guild comprising the master builders of the great castles and cathedrals of the Middle Ages the freemasons have enjoyed a dual reputation powerful often

  • Title: The Freemasons: A History of the World's Most Powerful Secret Society
  • Author: Jasper Ridley
  • ISBN: 9781559706544
  • Page: 202
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1 thought on “The Freemasons: A History of the World's Most Powerful Secret Society”

    1. Three words come immediately to mind: "glib," "snide," and "unreadable."I wasn't expecting this book to move mountains or anything. But even a casual perusal before I dug in at page 1 to read gave me the impression that this was not going to be a well researched or factual book. Some of the topics covered I've otherwise read a good deal about, and I found myself repeatedly saying, "That's not exactly right." Which makes me think that those topics about which I know next to nothing (or less) are [...]

    2. This was a little too much "Joe Smith was a Freemason; Joe Jones was not a Freemason"Not very well written!

    3. This book outlines the history of the the freemasons, from its Middle Age inception in roughly 1550 AD to current. It covers its expansion through England, its involvement in the American revolution, its presence in France, and includes notable historical Mason figures.It is fascinating to see how freemasons have been threaded throughout history. This book does not cover any type of details on Mason ceremony/ritual or an explanation of the inception of these events that have made the Masons such [...]

    4. While this book covered some interesting history, it really wasn't my cup of tea. There were numerous references to the rituals of the masons, but no real disclosure of anything about them beyond the vaguest details. Frequently the text diverged from the topic of Freemasonry throughout history, following people who weren't actually masons.

    5. More than you could ever want or need to know about the Freemasons. Objective with no conspiracy theories, but a heck of a lot of Freemasons.

    6. I wanted to like this book, but it was essentially a jumble of random facts about people who may or may not have been Freemasons. It felt very amateurish and all over the place, and I was already at a disadvantage of not having enough knowledge of British/European history. It didn't talk enough about what Freemasons actually DO, and talked too much about specific people that were or were not. In the end I just skimmed through it.

    7. A walk through the history and the influence the Freemason might or might not have had in the most important events that shaped our era.Do not expect to find an explanation about how the Freemasons behave, but after reading this you will understand much better what they are and what the real purposes of the society are.I found it as a good researched, non personal, historical book.

    8. From the first page, this book was very boring and very hard to read. Had it been more user friendly, I may have completed it.

    9. I’m interested in this subject but it seemed the book was more focused on National history than Freemasons. Gave it up after about 20 percent.

    10. Well written, extensive research. Doesn't just give story of the Freemasons but also places it in the time and place in the history of the different countries.

    11. I certainly learned about the long history of Masonic societies ( but precious few of their ‘secrets’), the best detail might be how they started as actual masons in the 12th century approximately. See the Follett book

    12. I started reading this book with low expectations because many of the reviews were not positive. So, I was really surprise to find this book is a great read. However, if you are want to find out about the actual rites and practices of the Freemasonry then this not the book for you. This is a history book and a very good one at that.It starts with 16th century where English gentlemen appropriated the guild practices that the stone masons used to preserve their economic freedom while dealing with [...]

    13. Este libro comienza así "Quiero agradecer a todos mis hermanos masones por tanto conocimiento y apoyo para escribir este libro". Para los amantes de las teorías de conspiración, este ensayo resulta ser una burda apología a para todas las logias masónicas: Para el autor TODOS estamos locos, pues los masones son pura luz, amor y paz. Para Ridley los masones son gente que han ayudado a crear la democracia, la libertad, y la igualdad; algo totalmente sin sentido, pues los que estudiamos sobre e [...]

    14. I've been looking for a book on the Freemasons for awhile, but everything else that I could find, I immediately disqualified, due to too much bold text, or excessive use of italics for emphasis, or, perhaps most telling of all, TOO MANY CAPS AND EXCLAMATION MARKS!!!!!Multiple exclamation marks are the sign of a dangerously unhinged mind, to paraphrase Terry Pratchett. I was browsing in the library when this title caught my eye, both because of what it said, and because of the lack of drama to th [...]

    15. Interesting history of an ancient and honorable societyMy grandfather and father-in-law were masons, as well as other relatives, and I've always been intrigued. No one ever asked me to join, though, and only later in life did I hear that one had to express interest. In any case, an organization that included so many of the founding fathers and hundreds of other distinguished Americans is worth understanding. This book traces Freemasonry back to misty beginnings before the Norman Conquest, and it [...]

    16. 2 and 1/2 stars, rounded up. Some chapters were written very well, while others exhibited very choppy writing. The book as a whole is not so much a history of the Freemasons. Rather it is a history of most major events in the world that have occurred over the past few hundred years, with an emphasis on Freemasons.A major historical event will be described. Major players in the event will be described. And after an entire description of the history of the event and the major players of Mr. A, Mr. [...]

    17. Not the best. I did enjoy certain parts of it, but there was no linear narrative. it was just a random collection of historical facts. there was no progression or major thesis uniting the idea. the only real connecting thought among all of the historical accounts was that they all involved masonry. Another jarring feature was the events jump back and forth in time. you'll find yourself reading about events from 1795-1840, then jumping to 1875 and later back to 1760. It was distracting. I did not [...]

    18. The Freemasons really started with masons in the Middle Ages. It is a fraternity of white men, no Jews or women allowed. Black men can join a black lodge if they want to be a member. They have a name for God which is "Jah" part Jehovah, "Bul" part Baal and "On" for Osiris. "Jahbulon". You must believe in a God(s) to be a member. No political talk between members inside the lodge is an ancient custom. They take an oath of secrecy and vow to kill you if you tell the secrets of the order. Supposedl [...]

    19. I just couldn't finish this book. There was some interesting information about the origin and early days of freemasonry, but little about their "rites" or symbols. I got more than halfway through and got bogged down in: "There was a political or military disagreement in America. There were Freemasons by name of A, B, and C on one side, but also D, E, and F on the other side!" Rinse and repeat. The book turned into more like a Cliff Notes on American history than any information about the role of [...]

    20. I have recently purchased the book because I have found out someone in my family was a Freemason. Started off with interesting information on the history of how they became who they were. Until it drifted into names of people you'd need historical background of each person to understand what's going on. Very vague mention on Freemasons and heavily written on wars and historical facts that didn't really match up. Don't get me wrong although interesting as it was on the lives of those people, it d [...]

    21. Did you know that the political terms left and right wing come from how the deputies sat in the french national assembly after the revolution of 1848? Or that John Wayne was a Freemason? While there was a lot of really interesting information crammed into this book, I am wondering if he had a page limit The transitions were either confusing or nonexistent sometimes and he bounced back and forth between years without any real pattern or seeming plan. BUT, it is full of interesting little factoids [...]

    22. This book was pretty interesting, more of an in depth chronological history of the Freemasons, includes a lot of factual information, important events and stories about significant historical figures who were Freemasons. The author doesn't draw too many conclusions, and is rather dismissive of negative statements/rumors about the Freemasons, although not in an overly defensive way. Author states he is not a Freemason and did his research in Freemason libraries, and they were forthcoming and help [...]

    23. Interesting, factual history of Freemasonry that brings to light many of the myths and misunderstandings of the society. Clearly written in an academic, proper British style but entertaining as well as informative. Unlike some "Histories" of Freemasonry that seem to get buried in minutiae, I felt that this book was pretty well self contained in that I did not find myself having to constantly google names and dates of kings and battles, etc. Excellent reference notes and bibliography.

    24. Awful, just awful. If you took out all the crap and had just the information that anyone actually wants to know the book might be 80 pages. If you love a bunch of names of people that don't matter and the dates that that person did something, then you will love this book. Not to mention that the books jumps around in time alot, and seems to have no rhyme or reason. I only made it to page 50ish and I just gave up. I would rather read something interesting. Guess I am going to have to find a much [...]

    25. A pretty clear history of the Freemasons, without any conspiratorial paranoia, or needless detail, and with clear exposition involved in laying out the historical background in compact digressions. Freemasons have been all over, and have adopted varying ideologies, primarily of their current culture, unless that culture has been repressive. The only political constant appears to be a certain tendency to toleration of different religions.

    26. Parece mas un libro de Historia de la secundaria lleno de fechas y de nombres que un libro de la historia de los masones, quizas solo en su origen se concentra en ellos, el resto se dedica a refutar todos aquellos ataques antimasones segun la epoca argumentando que las personas conservadoras, revolucionarias, decentes o mafiosas, seguían siendolo independientemente de ser masones o no. La verdad creo haber obtenido muy poca información sobre los masones, no muy acorde a sus 400 páginas.

    27. I was looking for something like this for many years. I'm really glad that a reputable and unbiased historian has written a book on Freemasonry free from all the misconceptions and conspiracy theories. It is excellent both stylistically and in terms of content. I highly recommend it both to people interested in Freemasonry and people interested in conspiracy, as it debunks a lot of myths related to the Freemasons.

    28. Really hard reading.Filled with lots of history and you almost need family trees to figure out who every one is and where they belong.But I really got over my head and finally had to give up.

    29. This book, in my humble opinion, have serious imprecisions about the history and development of the freemasonry of Latin America. Regrettable is the chapter over Salvador Allende.In all other respects, it's a correct approach to the freemasonry and easy-read.

    30. Open disclosure, I am a Mason. The book is even handed and shows the progress of the craft through many countries up to today. I you are interested in Freemasonry from a historical view point, I do recommend this volume.

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