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I grew up in Virginia, and for many years lived in a small, historic civil war city no more than 40 minutes (well, at least the way I drive) from the heart of Washington, D.C. One cannot be surrounded with so much history and not fall in love with history. On my days off, I entertained myself one of two ways: combing the historic parks, battlefields, and churches in my area, or driving to D.C. to spend a day sightseeing in the nation’s capital. When this book arrived from Destiny Books for review, I was astonished at the number of color plates in its text. I tried to count them, but lost count. Not because I’m incapable of counting that high (at least, I think I can count higher than 100), but because the breathtaking photography made me forget about numbers, and relive the days more than 20 years ago when I would tour the city and learn about our nation’s history. Reproducing such a large number of color photographs in a single book is expensive, and the publisher spared no expense.

Even though it is a trade paperback this book makes the perfect “coffee table” book.

Beyond the photography, it is a well researched history book. The Secrets of Masonic Washington begins with a brief discussion of Masonic history. One is introduced to the beginnings of Freemasonry, a movement begun by medieval European stonemasons. It describes the brotherhood’s transition from operative Freemasonry to speculative Freemasonry, and traces its migration from Europe to colonial America and into modern America. Wasserman discusses Masonry’s link with the Revolution; its ancient and modern forms; its morals and educational goals; its charity; and its place in the country today. It details the Masonic design prevalent throughout the capital, from the square foundation upon which the city was built, to the intricate interiors of its buildings.

And then, it gives a pictorial walking tour of the nation’s capital, focused on the National Mall area. Beginning at 1st Street and Maryland Avenue, and ending with the National Mall, Wasserman leads the reader on an intimate tour of Washington, D.C., explaining the meanings and symbols found in the nation’s artwork, sculptures, and architecture. To help the reader orient to the location photographed, he provides full-color maps.

As a collection of photographs, it is stunning. As a tour of our capital, it is complete work. As a tome inspiring pride and vision in the American ideal, it is transcendent. A few days spent with The Secrets of Masonic Washington will renew one’s faith and love for the American dream.

James Wasserman is the author of the bestselling The Templars and Assassins: The Militia of Heaven, The Mystery Traditions, An Illustrated History of the Knights Templar, and The Slaves Shall Serve: Meditations on Liberty. A longtime student of the occult sciences and a member of the secret society Ordo Templi Orientis since 1976, he lives in New York City.

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The following comments are for "The Secrets of Masonic Washington, by James Wasserman"
by OchaniLele

MASONIC Washington D.C.--awesome REVEIW!
Yep, you remember Bob, my ex- when I too live in Virginia and you and I first met...he was Freemason...and Tasha was a Job Daughter(Masonic program for older girls, and Molly was a Rainbow girl, program for the younger girls, and I was invited to be an Eastern Star, which is their program for the woman.

I read all of the supposedly secret books of the Masons that my husband left lying around hidden, hehehe, his ritual book, etc.---

My current husband and I have researched and know very much about the Masonic symbols all about the US and Washington and the whole of the US government and even the symbols on our US money.

This is just the kind of book that my hubby and I would love to read, great review, and we will buy it via this link..

Hey, Stuart remember where we lived in VA, how the very FIRST Masonic Temple was there...I was able to go inside, it was incredible, the feeling of history, all around us our founding fathers and famous founders of our history, James Monroe's law office, Martha Washington's home, etc.---wasn't that an incredible place, and so haunted...everywhere, the trenches of the battles, our first house there was a landmark historic home, close to the Jewish Temple downtown area, it was so haunted, found out it had been used as a temporary hospital for the soldiers of wars...yep, fascinating.

The trippy part, remember, is that Bob was a direct descendant of General Robert E. Lee...on his father's side. Looking at the portrait of Lee at the museum there gave me the creeps, especially when Bob grew a beard and he was the spitting image of Lee.

Thanks for this, very much appreciated, love this stuff, and history of this sort... Stuart;-)

Yep, buying via this LINK here on the Lit.Org on this page! Great idea...

( Posted by: TheRealKarmaTseringLhamo [Member] On: December 29, 2008 )

@ Lena
I remember the temple well!

Just so everyone knows -- I will be interviewing this author for an upcoming issue of "Majestic" as well.


( Posted by: OchaniLele [Member] On: December 29, 2008 )

Great review
It also sounds like a terrific book!
Its on my wish list.

( Posted by: redbeadgirl [Member] On: December 31, 2008 )

sounds like a great book
can't wait for the interview!!!!!!!

( Posted by: roach [Member] On: January 30, 2009 )

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