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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2010
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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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on December 4, 2009
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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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2010
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
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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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2012
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). I have seen many good masonic people enable, support, and protect a few filthy ones who have done more harm to their brotherhood than anyone on the outside. Some of the most detestable things I saw over there came from power hungry masons who constantly exploited the masonic system in order serve their own interests, or evade the law.

I do not believe what I repeatedly saw from the self-serving ones were isolated incidents, but more like a microcosm of what happens elsewhere, including back home.

You might think, "Well, who the hell cares?". That would be the wrong question.

Now think about where this might apply in a society full of Waste, Fraud, and Abuse; Corruption. What about the most powerful politicians who keep screwing Americans, but can't ever seem to be voted out of office? Consider the one bad cop on the squad who 'unnecessarily' kills an innocent youth (i.e. trigger happy), but never sees jail time? And how about the CEO of a large bank who somehow manages to convince the Treasury to allow the transfer of toxic debt from their balance sheet onto the backs of the public, sticking it to the average citizen struggling to pay the rent? What about that time a company starts laying employees off, but the new guy who doesn't even know his stuff yet, still keeps his job? Yeah, it is predominately because of 'who they know' and the fact that Masons will not turn on each other, even if they have one sorry excuse for a piece of crap brother whose a murderer. What was once a powerful force for good and freedom early in American history has quite simply been corrupted and exploited.

Don't get me wrong, I very much revere General Patton, Eisenhower, and MacArthur as I borrow quotes from them all the time. Unfortunately, the world is so messed up right now, these wolves I previously spoke about are licking their chops once they get in, as they are fully aware of the level of benefits, protection, and more influential connections they will make. Every time I asked one of the new guys why they were joining, it was always a selfish response. "I'd like to have a political career someday." or "I need a hookup." (trying to get a better job)

While working for Centcom, I can tell you the majority of Freemasons I knew were a step above the rest of us. But I cannot emphasize enough that some of the most corrupt, filthy, dangerous, thieving scumbags out there also wore the same robe. For much of the criminally inclined savages on earth, they will eventually face the law and justice will be served. But, there's a good chance that same criminal who wears a robe will be placed above the law. Depending on the circumstances and personality of the individual this can empower an ordinary criminal (including a thief) to become a VERY dangerous one.

Quite frankly, there doesn't seem to be enough checks and balances, or rather they simply don't work too well since the tight-knit brotherhood can effectively result in a 'no snitch' policy.

The adequate response from all Freemasons should be reflective in nature, to determine just how to make this right, restore what has been lost and prevent the great potential for tyranny, injustice, and further inequality.

Another reason I had to comment, I really got tired of seeing folks bash some of my friends without even knowing any of them. Trust me, they're not sorcerers. Basically, there's a whole lot of good people doing great work, spending lots of time helping charities and who die regularly for our country, but there's a few rotten apples destroying anything good still left in the system.

Just in case you're wondering, because of the aforementioned character issues of a `few' really shady masons, AND because of my personal religious beliefs I will likely never join Freemasonry.

I'd also like to consider this a plea for the Masonic leadership take this issue seriously, before it's too late. It may sound crazy, but the balance of power, future of humanity might very well depend on it. Just look around. Freemasons are just as much responsible for shaping the world today as they were way back then during early Colonial days. If the leadership hasn't even started to clean things up yet, it may be a sign it's time for all Freemasons to start shaking things up.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 5, 2011
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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on December 5, 2012
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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on March 18, 2010
An Illustrated Guide to the Lost Symbol: The Unauthorized Companion to the Bestselling Novel, and to the Revealing Connection Between the Freemasons and Our Nation's Capital is a fine survey for fans of The Lost Symbol, offering plenty of insights and packing in world history, politics, and insights into rituals and symbols from Freemason origins. Color photos throughout pack a guide perfect for libraries already seeing popular lending of The Lost Symbol.
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The book is very short on helpful photographs and diagrams. There are many articles which do not hold Freemasonry in a good light. This is definitely not a companion book to Dan Brown's work.
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