Outstanding Books from Outstanding Authors

W.Bro. Robert Blackburn was raised a Master Mason at Dalkey No. 261, G.L. of Ireland, A.F.& A.M. in 1991. He is a charter member and 1st S.W. of Benjamin Franklin No. 83, G.L. of Wisconsin, F.& A.M., which works in the Emulation Ritual. He is a Past Master of Ann Arbor-Fraternity No. 262, G.L. of Michigan, F. & A.M.  He received a B.A. with honors from Penn State University in 1989; an M.Phil. in Medieval Studies from Univ. College Dublin in 1991; a J.D. from the University of Houston in 1993. He currently resides in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Many of the books that we review here are provided by publishers and authors in exchange for a review.


CROWN OF SERPENTS - By Michael Karpovage - Large 6×9 paperback,384 pages with b&w illustrations and maps. Retail price: $19.99

"Crown of Serpents is set almost exclusively in the picturesque Finger Lakes region of New York. Major Jake Tununda, a seasoned combat veteran, has just taken a new position as a historian with the U.S. Army’s Military History Institute. En route to a conference in Rochester, he makes a fateful decision to assist local police and firemen rescue a victim who has fallen into a pit."

The Better Angels of Our Nature Freemasonry in the American Civil War - by Michael A. Halleran

"Masonic histories are often (and rightly so) relegated to the dark corners of bookshops along with other “mystical” curiosities and esoterica. The problem is two-fold: a) they are the product of amateur enthusiasts, not trained specialists; b) the books, upon serious examination, prove little more than unsupported mishmashes of anecdote, legend, and wild conjecture."

Haunted Chambers: the Lives of Early Women Freemasons By Karen Kidd - Book web site at: www.hauntedchambers.com

"Karen Kidd’s Haunted Chambers: the Lives of Early Women Freemasons has two apparent goals. First, to demonstrate that women have already had a share, albeit a small one, in regular Masonry since its inception. Second, that female Freemasons, possessing the same abilities and Masonic passions as their male counterparts, deserve to enjoy full recognition and acceptance by all-male lodges."

Builders of Empire Freemasons and British Imperialism, 1717-1927 By Jessica L. Harland-Jacobs

"Freemasonry’s rise, its grand lodges, distinguished members, and even military connections have long been the subject of historical scrutiny. Jessica L. Harland-Jacobs, however, has accomplished something more audacious and interesting in Freemasonry and British Imperialism."

The Manuscript Found in Saragossa, By Jan Potocki.

The Manuscript Found in Saragossa was written in French, probably between 1797 and 1815 and  the full text available in English for the first time.


Women's Agency and Rituals in Mixed and Female Masonic Orders - Alexandra Heidle (Editor), Jan A. M. Snoek (Editor) ISBN-9004172394

"A collection of scholarly essays, this book examines the varied relationships women have had with Freemasonry over the centuries through “adoptive,” mixed/female, and assorted esoteric bodies."

The Red Triangle: The History of the Persecution of Freemasons by Robert Cooper - Publisher: Lewis Masonic ISBN: 9780853183327

"Sadly, Freemasons have been all too well aware of anti-Masonry and its relentless campaign of misinformation and even violence against the Fraternity. Robert Cooper’s new book, The Red Triangle (which takes its name from the patch Masonic prisoners in German concentration camps were forced to wear), documents this history in sometimes painful and infuriating detail."

The Secret Psychology of Freemasonry: Alchemy, Gnosis, and the Science of the Craft - By Cliff Porter - First paperback edition Colorado Springs: Starr Publishing, LLC, 2011, paperbound, 202 pages illustrations, ISBN 9780615497709

"Bro. Porter’s Secret Psychology of Freemasonry is the product of an enthusiast. Porter is, by profession, a criminal detective and speaker on personal and interpersonal psychology and relationships. His work is perhaps best described as his own, personal musings on the interrelationship between alchemy, Gnosticism, and psychology with the Craft."

Native American Freemasonry: U.S. Associationalism and Performance in America, By Joy Porter. University of Nebraska Press 2011. 368 pp.14 illustrations ISBN 978-0-8032-2547-3 (link)

"Native American Freemasonry provides an important insight into how Native and European Americans made use of Masonic space for mutual recognition, acceptance, and cultural exchange and how popular notions of “Nativeness” were exploited within the context of American fraternalism." 

Man and Mason-Rudyard Kipling. By Richard Jaffa

Man and Mason – Rudyard Kipling offers a solid biographical survey together with some very interesting insights into how Freemasonry influenced Kipling as a man and a writer.  Indeed, Jaffa spends much of the book identifying and discussing Masonic references in Kipling’s individual works.  This is essential reading for anyone serious about understanding Kipling and the Craft.

Character Counts: Freemasonry Is a National Treasure and a Source of Our Founders' Constitutional Original Intent by Michael Glenn Maness - ISBN - 9781456714369 Publisher web site - www.authorhouse.com

The Temple of Solomon: From Ancient Israel to Secret Societies by James Wasserman

An Illustrated History of Solomon's Temple

"The Temple of Solomon outlines the essential stories and traditions, from a Judeo-Christian perspective, that concern the Temple and its aftermath.  Indeed, for those who want to brush up on the Biblical stories behind some of the Scottish Rite Lodge of Perfection degrees, it’s a great resource.  It is also wonderfully illustrated."

"A Pennsylvania Masonic Handbook, no doubt, will have limited appeal for a general readership. However, for those interested in Masonic ritual and at a distance from Pennsylvania, there is some very interesting and useful information contained within this book."

The Foundations of Modern Freemasonry, The Grand Architects - Political Change and the Scientific Enlightenment, 1720-1740 By Ric Berman

"In The Foundations of Modern Freemasonry, Ric Berman places the ‘modern’ Freemasonry’s early years under a microscope, examining so-called ‘transitional’ masonry, early players the first Grand Lodge, and related social and political circles. Most interesting, and perhaps shocking for some, is his rejection that operative bodies as such ‘evolved’ into modern speculative lodges."

Mike Neville, Sacred Secrets: Freemasonry, the Bible and the Christian

"While no ritual work is revealed, for the profane, and more especially for those initiated in our work, a deeper understanding of why certain degrees are structured as they are and why specific elements are incorporated is of particular interest.  Sacred Secrets is nicely illustrated and provides several excellent tables summarizing its findings."

Archangels & Archaeology: J. S. M. Ward's Kingdom of the Wise By  Geoffrey Ginn. John Sebastian Marlow Ward (1885-1949) was an English antiquarian, mystic, occult scholar and museums pioneer. His life story involves surprising connections between popular anthropology in the vein of Frazer's "The Golden Bough", "Freemasonry", "Spiritualism" and the birth of the modern social history museum.



More Book Reviews at: HERE


The Book Review:

If you want your book to be considered for a review, please send two copies.

Bonisteel Masonic Library - "Rising Point" (www.bonisteelml.org)

Submission Guidelines:

Submissions must be sent (3) months--preferably (4)--prior to the 1st day of the month of publication.

You must send (2) copies of every title submitted.

All galleys should have the following information on the cover:

- Title - Author - Price - Publisher and imprint - Format - Number of pages in the finished book - 13-digit ISBN - Month and day of publication - Distribution arrangements - Publicity contact information

Please include a separate cover sheet or letter for each copy of every title submitted.
Finished books and bound manuscripts are acceptable for submission. We review only Masonic books.

The review will published online of Bonisteel Masonic Library and Rising Point at www.bonisteelml.org

Please address packages to:

Bonisteel Masonic Library - Rising Point
2520 Arrowwood Trl.
Ann Arbor, MI 48105 USA


Back to the Top.

Send your comments and suggestions about this website to our webmaster. - mozog@bonisteelml.org  Mitchell Ozog
Copyright © 2016 Bonisteel Masonic Library. All rights reserved.
01/07/16 14:23:23
The Bonisteel Masonic Library website and publication Rising Point are designed By Mitchell Ozog, www.graphicdesignsolutions.org