Book Review: Secrets of The Widow’s Son

David Shugarts’ book, “Secrets of the Widow’s Son,” is a guide to Dan Brown’s novel “The Lost Symbol,” much in the same manner as the prior two books he was involved in. Shugarts is a contributor and editor of the two earlier books that revealed many of the historical facts and mysteries in Dan Brown’s books “The Da Vinci Code” and “Angels and Demons.” While caught up in the research involved in the books “Secrets of the Code” and “Secrets of Angels and Demons,” he developed a deep interest in what direction Dan Brown would take in his next blockbuster book. By ferreting out clues in “The Da Vinci Code,” Shugarts was sure the Dan Brown would place his next novel in Washington, D. C. and have the history of the city and its Freemason founders as an integral part of the book. In an unprecedented event, Shugarts released his “Secrets of the Widow’s Son” prior to the release of Dan Brown’s book “The Lost Symbol.” At the time of the writing of Shugarts’ book, the working title for “The Lost Symbol” was “The Solomon Key,” a point of confusion for many who didn’t realize that the title had changed after Shugarts’ book was released.

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Book Review: The Builders

Written in 1914, “The Builders” by Joseph Fort Newton defines the origins, the history and the ideals of Freemasonry. In educated but not elevated language, Newton breaks his book into three sections. Each section proceeds logically from his assertions to his conclusion that Masonry and its ideals of liberty, fraternity and equality have benefited the world.

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The Alchemical Keys to Masonic Ritual

Alchemy has become an increasingly popular topic in literary criticism, and scholars have debated the possible alchemical underpinnings of such pop cultural phenomena as Twilight, Harry Potter and the television series LOST, drawing from centuries of tradition to do so. It turns out that Masonry is steeped in such traditions, and alchemical meaning can be found in abundance throughout its many symbols. Unpacking these symbols for readers is the purpose of Timothy Hogan in “The Alchemical Keys to Masonic Ritual.”

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Book Review: The Craft and its Symbols

First published in 1974, Allen Roberts’ “The Craft and Its Symbols” is an excellent guide to the symbology of the Freemasons. Appropriate for the Mason and non-mason alike, this classic volume takes the reader through the meanings behind the symbols and the connections they have with the everyday lives of the members of this ancient fraternity. It is an excellent resource for the beginning Mason or a non-mason who would like to better understand the concepts of this fraternal organization as they are divulged by the symbols.

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Book Review: The Temple and the Lodge

Are Freemasons really the spiritual and intellectual descendents of the mysterious 13th and 14th century self-styled guardians of the Holy Land known as the Knights Templar? In their 1988 book The Temple and the Lodge, authors Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh answer this question with a forceful, “Yes!” Baigent and Leigh go on to posit that the philosophy of the Knight Templars had a huge influence on America’s founding fathers, many of whom were active members of Masonic lodges, as well as on the development of the economic theory of capitalism and the French Enlightenment.

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