Freemasons: A History and Exploration of the World's Oldest Secret Society

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9780806526621: Freemasons: A History and Exploration of the World's Oldest Secret Society
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In Freemasons, H. Paul Jeffers delves into Masonic history to reveal the surprising and controversial truths behind this ancient and secretive order, from its mystery-shrouded origins in medieval Europe through its rise in America, where Benjamin Franklin founded the first lodge. Today, some four to five million Freemasons worldwide pledge to live their lives in accordance with principles of morality, charity and loyalty--both to fellow Masons and to the order itself. But what exactly does Freemasonry entail, and what happens behind the lodges' closed doors? Discover the truth about: 
- Masonic Symbols--architectural symbolism, rings, pins and other subtle indicators of membership
- Rites and rituals--"rite of Investiture" initiation ceremonies, the Apron Lecture, the rite of Destitution and others
- Hierarchy and organizational structure--including rules for advancement
- Freemasonry's ancient and ongoing conflict with major religious institutions worldwide
- Women and Freemasonry--including such groups as Eastern Star, Job's Daughters, and Amaranth
- "Anti-Masons"--opposition groups, from the Catholic Church to conspiracy theorists
- African-American Masonry--the "Prince Hall" Masonry alumni, which include Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, author Alex Haley, and musician Nat "King" Cole
- Myths and Conspiracies--why is a Masonic symbol on American currency? Do Masons really control the world?
Now, in this fascinating guide that explores the myths and reality of Freemasonry, the veil of secrecy is finally lifted.

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About the Author:

H. Paul Jeffers (1934-2009) was an established military historian and author of seventy books. He worked as an editor and producer at ABC, CBS and NBC, and is the only person to have been news director of both of New York City's all-news radio stations. He taught journalism at New York University, Syracuse University, and Boston University. His books include the novels A Grand Night for Murder and What Mommy Said, and the nonfiction Marshall: Lessons in Leadership with Alan Axelrod. He lived in New York, NY.

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