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Secrets of the Tomb: Skull and Bones, the Ivy League, and the Hidden Paths of Power Paperback – September 4, 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
More About the Author
New York Times bestselling author Alexandra Robbins's last book was Goodreads' BEST NONFICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR ("The Geeks Shall Inherit The Earth" - also a Books for a Better Life winner).
Robbins was the 2014 recipient of the John Bartlow Martin Award for Public Interest Magazine Journalism, given by the Medill School of Journalism. She also won the 2014 Donald Robinson Memorial Award for Investigative Journalism, the 2014 June Roth Award for Medical Journalism, and the 2014 Robert D.G. Lewis Watchdog Award, the top prize in the Society of Professional Journalists Washington, D.C. Dateline Awards.
Robbins has written for several publications, including The New York Times, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, and Forbes, and regularly appears in the national media on shows such as "Oprah," "The Today Show," "60 Minutes," "The View," and "The Colbert Report." Robbins frequently lectures about her books and is currently touring. To view topics or book a lecture, please visit alexandrarobbins.com.
Top Customer Reviews
Unfortunatly after buying the book, I was dissapointed to discover that the interesting topics which she uses to seduce the reader into a purchase are discussed no further. The reader must first painstakingly work through a miserable history of Yale's traditions, societies, etc. for the first 77 pages of the book--not only boring, but not what I paid for. When she finally does decide to discuss the actual topic of her book, it is dissapointing, to be nice. In a decently thourough manner, she describes the choosing of and ritualistic initiation of new members. She then goes on to describe the rise of power of some of the more powerful Skull and Bones run organizations and families. Um...great (sarcastically).
To be clear, the info she provides on the Skull and Bones society is mildly interesting, seems somewhat objective (with one major exception noted below), is refreshingly realistic given most of the pure conspiracy weirdos tackling S&B, and would have its valid place in a more thourough book on the subject. However, what she provides can by no means be an adequate basis for an entire novel. Or, rather, I should say, a good novel. It seemed as though she was trying to fit 10 good pages of interesting info into a 200 page novel.Read more ›
In the stead of such "exposés," she provides a history of early Yale and the peculiar social climate in which this society came to be. The truth is as interesting as any of the fantasies. ... Skull and Bones (as well as several other similar societies) reflect today what was once a much broader system of college clubs that served to reinforce institutional culture. Of course, that culture has changed with the passage of years; the successful (i.e., surviving) societies have adapted to change even as they resisted it.
We don't learn much more about the German connection or the ritual background of Skull and Bones here than we do from Sutton. The German university corps from which the Yale society emanated as a chapter is not identified; Ms. Robbins has not said which German university Gen. Russell visited. If naked mud wrestling or lying in a coffin are not (at least now) parts of the ritual, drinking simulated "blood" out of a skull is, which suggests von Hund's masonic Templars as a ritual source. The presiding officer is named "Uncle Toby," apparently derived from the character in Laurence Sterne's novel "Tristam Shandy," and the mysterious number 322 from the date of Demosthenes' death. The Skull and Bones library contains an Aldine edition of Demosthenes and a first edition of "Tristam Shandy," both great bibliophilic rarities.Read more ›
and she sounded well-informed, articulate, and intelligent. I
only recently got around to reading the book, which I was
interested in because, indeed, I very much buy into conspiracy
theories. Based on the interview, in which she claimed to have
been harrassed by Skull and Bones (SaB) members, a claim
repeated at the outset of the book, I expected a full expose'
of Skull and Bones.
While the book does provide an expose', about 80% of the
writing that provides background about the so-called Yale
(and Harvard) "mystique," along with staggering amounts of details
about the goings on at Yale, bored me no end, and I found myself
skimming constantly. By the time I got to page 100, half-way
through, I simply could not believe that an editor didn't make
drastic cuts/changes to the contents of the book. It's easy to
understand why the author would be interested in all this "gossip,"
for she was a member of another secret society at Yale, she was
"in" as she wrote. Maybe the editors were too. I can't imagine
who else would want to read this material, except perhaps in brief
outline as background.
Here are some examples. The first 3 pages of Chapter 3, "Inside
Headquarters," is a very boring poem called "The Brown Jug." Pp. 104 -
106 is yet another soporific excerpt from a novel about "Tap Day," which
the author describes in great detail in not one, but two sections of the
book. On p. 130 we are treated to SaB's dinner menu - the chapter is
called "The Secrets of the Skull and Bones!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not for me. I read some reviews and I do not care for this kind of book. I thought it would be a fiction and maybe part of it is. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Leona Olson
Well written, informative, entertaining. Many Bonesman have risen to power through this organization. You can judge for yourself
In enjoyed it so much I will read it again.
My husband loves the book. Shipping and delivery were prompt.Published 16 months ago by Martha W. Ryzak
Clearly, this is a book written for informed American readership alone.
Whilst the first few chapters were okay, the later chapters seemed to get bogged down in an endless... Read more
This book’s preface, entitled ‘The Legend of Skull and Bones,’ sets the stage for a thriller by recounting precisely what most so-called conspiracy theorists believe about Skull &... Read morePublished on January 6, 2014 by Marvin D. Pipher
good book. fast delivery. but there was a lot more wear and tear than anticipated. also didnt know it would be an old library copy, was giving this as a gift and it was laminated... Read morePublished on April 1, 2013 by heather dunigan
A fun read about something we know very little about, great for airplane travel or a Sunday afternoon, feet up, cosmo sipping kind of read...I fear I have said too muchPublished on January 24, 2013 by A. L. Branson