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An Illustrated Guide to The Lost Symbol Paperback – Bargain Price, December 8, 2009

4.2 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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About the Author

John Weber is the publisher at Welcome Rain. He edited The Tao Of Bada Bing: Words Of Wisdom From The Sopranos with Chuck Kim, and The World According To Rummy. He has packaged or published several bestsellers including A Monk Swimming by Malachy McCourt, Love Letters by Michelle Lovric. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Finding the Lost Symbols in Washington, D.C.

The House of the Temple

Dan Brown opens The Lost Symbol in the Temple Room of the House of the Temple, with Dr. Christopher Abaddon being raised to a 33rd-degree Mason, and returns there for its denouement.

Located at 1733 Sixteenth Street, N.W. (Sixteenth Street is referred to as "The Corridor of Light" by Masons), the House of the Temple is headquarters for the Supreme Council (Mother Council of the World) of the Inspectors General Knights Commander of the House of the Temple of Solomon of the Thirty-third Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry of the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States of America. (Yes, there is also a Northern Jurisdiction, which has its headquarters at the National Heritage Museum in Lexington, Massachusetts.)

Visitors (both Masons and non-Masons) are welcome and tours are conducted on the hour or half hour. The hours of operat ion are in flux owing to the Dan Brown effect, so it's best to call before visiting: (202) 232-3579. Photography is permitted -- and encouraged.

The name "House of the Temple" refers to the Temple of Solomon, the building that is central to Masonic ritual and symbolism.

The cornerstone for the House of the Temple was laid in 1911 and the building was completed in 1915. It is modeled after the Mausoleum of Halicarnasses, one of the original Seven Wonders of the World.

John Russell Pope was the architect for the House of the Temple. He subsequently designed the Jefferson Memorial, the National Archives, and the National Gallery of Art.

A visitor must pass between two massive sphinxes to enter the front door, one with its eyes open (perhaps representing thought, perception or engagement with the outer world) and one with its eyes closed (perhaps suggesting meditation, contemplation or "soul-building"). Thirty-three columns -- each thirty-three feet high -- surround the building. And there are thirty-three seats in the Temple Room.

The roof of the House of the Temple is an "unfinished" pyramid, consisting of thirteen steps. Although difficult to see from the street, visitors to Washington, D.C., can view this pyramid "floating in the air" looking south from Meridian Hill Park -- in the foreground of the Washington Monument.

The First Inauguration of George Washington, April 30, 1787 by John D. Melius

This painting and its companion, George Washington Laying the Cornerstone of the United States Capitol, September 18, 1793, both reside in the George Washington Memorial Banquet Hall of the House of the Temple.

The building in the background is Federal Hall, in New York City. After swearing the oath of office, President Washington famously kissed the Holy Bible, which was on loan from the St. John's Lodge, also located in New York.

The historical figures participating in the ceremony include quite a few prominent Freemasons. The twelve men depicted are, left to right:

1. Frederick William von Steuben, a Mason, was an army officer and aide-de-camp to Frederick the Great of Prussia. Von Steuben became a Major General during the Revolution and was known as the "drill master of the Continental Army."

2. John Jay, right and in the foreground, then Secretary of State, later became a Supreme Court Justice.

3. John Adams was the first Vice President and became the second President of the United States.

4. Henry Lee, a Mason, was known as "Light Horse Harry Lee" because of his brilliant cavalry operations in the Revolutionary War. He was also the father of General Robert E. Lee.

5. Robert R. Livingston, a Mason, was Chancellor of the State of New York and Grand Master of New York Masons from 1784 to 1800. He is to Lee's right, by the railing.

6. Samuel Otis, Secretary of the Senate, holds the Bible from St. John's Lodge No. 1, New York City.

7. George Washington, a Mason, stands with his right hand placed on the Bible.

8. Morgan Lewis, a Mason, was Grand Marshall during this ceremony and later became a Major General in the War of 1812. He was elected Grand Master of New York Masons in 1830.

9. Frederick A. C. Muhlenberg, a Mason, appears in a gold-colored coat. Born in Pennsylvania, he was educated in Germany as a Lutheran clergyman and was the elected Speaker of the House of Representatives.

10. Arthur St. Clair, a Mason, is dressed in military uniform. He was born in Scotland and came to America with the British Army in 1757 only to become a Major General in the Continental Army. At the time of the inauguration, he was the Governor of the Northwest Territory.

11. George Clinton, next to St. Clair, was Governor of New York at the time of the inauguration.

12. Henry Knox, a Mason, was a close adviser to Washington and a Major General and Chief of Artillery in the Revolutionary Army. He is to the far right in the painting and was Secretary of War at the time of Washington's first inauguration.Copyright © 2009 by Sensei Publications, LLC

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books; Original edition (December 8, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416523669
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416523666
  • ASIN: B003JTHSKO
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,576,417 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Fascinating collection of essays organized in a very thoughtful progression, that addresses the unfolding questions about the historical basis of the legends at the root of Freemasonry, reaching back to the early myths about Hiram Abiff & the Temple of Solomon, making a case that Freemasonry provided cover for reconstitution of the remainder of the Knights Templar in the middle ages, & a most intriguing proposition that the involvement in Freemasonry by officers on both sides during the Revolutionary War, as well as the Civil War, factored into the outcomes. Exploration of these kind of themes with original sources & high grade commentary, along with the rich graphics & photos of relevant sites, provides an intellectual excursion far more interesting than the pot-boiler it is intended to accompany. I really appreciated inclusion of pieces by Robert Graves, Manly P. Hall, Baigent & Leigh, Francis Bacon, Joseph Campbell & Bill Moyers, Umberto Eco, & Michael Bober.
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I bought this guide in an attempt to further understand (and continue my fascination with) the Lost Symbol. It did not dissapoint! Great pictures to show all of the things I NEEDED to see!

Thank you!
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This is a gorgeous book which serves as much more than a mere "guide" to Dan Brown's latest opus. "An Illustrated Guide to the Lost Symbol" is a stand-alone study of the entire history of Masonry, beautifully illustrated, with searching essays by leading scholars and Masons, all of whom labor to shed light on various aspects of the world's most famous and influential sodality. I don't need to add that the writing throughout is much better than Dan Brown's. Anyone who has ever been curious about Masonry, even Masons themselves, will be richly rewarded by this collection.
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This is an excellent aid in description & picture to Dan Brown's bestseller "The Lost Symbol". It covers the Smithsonian Museum Support Center, the George Washington Masonic Memorial, the Washington Monument & help to define "Kryptos". Authors also "help" finding "The Lost Symbol" in Washington, D.C., by going through : (1) The House of the Temple, (2) The Capitol 54 & (3) The Library of Congress. Dan Brown may be releasing his illustrated edition of "The Lost Symbol" on 10 November 2010, but I'm confident that I have an excellent peep (preview) on this guide edited John Weber! It gives you a sound background & understanding of Dan Brown's masterpiece "The Lost Symbol".
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AN ILLUSTRATED GUIDE TO THE LOST SYMBOL edited by John Weber is an enhancement to our nation's capital and the Masonic organization.
The information contained in this lovely production is much better than a guide book and makes you want to visit Washington, D.C. to take a more detail look at the edifices of our capital.
The scholarly essays extend the narrative of Dan Brown's THE LOST SYMBOL and broaden your appreciation of the forethought and knowledge that created our national treasure.
Nash Black, author of Indie finalists WRITING AS A SMALL BUSINESS and HAINTS.
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After spending six years in Iraq with numerous Masons from various lodges, albeit mostly Prince Hall and Blue lodge masons(many I consider brothers for other reasons), I can tell you the truth is somewhere in-between both sides of this debate. If one can truly put away their own bias on this subject, they will find enough legitimate evidence to support 'some' of the alleged bad things and good things that occur in many lodges. Note that a much greater number of US Government, Military, and Law Enforcement personnel are Freemasons than you would ever imagine. Think of them as protectors, or gatekeepers.

Before I discovered how many of my friends and associates were Masons while working for the DoD in Iraq, my preconceived notion was that they were probably satanists, or followers of the occult. Although, some of the concepts, rituals, etc. might technically be occult, the majority of the Masons I know are not bad, or evil. Most of the masons I lived, worked and risked my life with were of the highest quality character, had the best work ethic, and were the most selfless people, just as our masonic founding fathers.(i.e. George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, etc) However, here goes the sad, but true part..

When others resort to blanket stereotypes and ignorant generalizations about Freemasons, they are being sidetracked. The REAL problem is the protective Masonic structure itself imbues masons (both Good and Bad) with the "potential" to become dangerous threats to humanity. I am NOT speaking of what I 'think' or 'feel', rather what I have witnessed myself in an environment much like the movie, Beyond the Thunderdome (power struggles in a war torn country).
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Wasn't sure how illustrated this book was, but it's full of great full-color illustrations. There are some pages of text (haven't read it yet) but there's no lack of good illustrations. I'm a visual person, and it suits me well.
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If you were as interested in the details of The Lost Symbol as I was, then this is a great buy. Obviously, there is only so much detail Brown can put into his book without it getting too long. So if you were intrigued by the history and connections mentioned in the story, you could just look it up in An Illustrated Guide. The only thing I would have liked to see more of was the paintings. There were not as many pictures as I had expected in an Illustrated guide. But it was still worth the money and really helped to enhance The Lost Symbol.
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