Top critical review
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"It's stories I'm telling you"
on 28 September 2006
Like one of the previous reviewers I have come to realise that this book has it's pitfalls. Poorly squared conclusions, leaps of imagination and to an extent an agenda that drives the narrative. But to those who attack it's content with all the vigour of the inquisition I would say this, "what are you so scared of?"
It is obvious to the discerning reader, as one reviewer states, that this book is not the first or the final word on the subject matter discussed, and as such it should be taken for what it is instead of being taken as THE definative explanation. So what is this book about.
This is a book about the journey two pretty normal, pretty well educated guys took when they decided to investigate the history of Freemasonry. What transpired, to them, was a meandering, tangled web route through the history of not just Freemasonry but also it's roots, the crusades, the Egyptian dynasties, the church and the historical figure most people in the west associate with the name Jesus Christ and much more to boot. I won't spend time pointlessly trying to de-bunk or bolster their claims, although it must be noted that the authors have revised their opinions regarding much they uncovered since publication.
What I got from this book was an awareness that what I believed about accepted history could be, in fact, wrong. Also it gave me a greater understanding about what history is and motivated me investigate it further. It would be churlish to thank the authors for anything other than their efforts. Whilst I freely admit that I, on first reading this book got carried away and carried along on the crest of it's wave; I can certainly now say I don't think this book is "groundbreaking" - "mind altering" or any of the other superlatives used to describe it; and if upon reading it, you think it is, you have failed as this poor reviewer had to take from this book what is valuable.
The study history is not static and historians, mainstream or otherwise, are not so magnanimous as to not have vested interests.
History is not like a vein of gold you can follow down a particular seam of rock, you have to go and make sure it's gold - and then you have to go and make sure the guy who told you so is reliable: in short it is an evolving process.
Read this book if you have an interest in history or religion, and then go on and read some others. You take the good where you can find it and you fit it to what you know. Those who forget to arm themselves with a healthy pinch of salt, for those times when it is needed, really deserve all that they get.