||December 21, 2006
As the countdown ticks to the release date of Dan Brown's "The Lost Symbol," get a jump on the truth behind the fiction.
The release of the covers of Dan Brown's "The Lost Symbol" at last shows that the blockbuster book will indeed be about the Freemasons in Washington D.C. The U.S. and U.K. covers clearly depict symbols and imagery that point to the Freemasons, especially the 33rd degree Masons of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite. Brown will unquestionably use this organization as part of his story. Even the release date of his novel, 9/15/09, adds up to "33."
Before Brown's book lands in stores, get a jump on the truth behind the fiction. Solomon's Builders: Freemasons, Founding Fathers and the Secrets of Washington D.C. by Christopher L. Hodapp (author of the bestselling "Freemasons For Dummies") transports you back to the birth of a radical new nation and tells how a secretive society influenced and inspired the formation of what would become the most powerful nation on earth.
"Solomon's Builders" follows George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and the other Founding Fathers who transformed the lessons of their Masonic lodge rooms into models for a new democracy. In the process, it pieces together the still-visible clues of the Freemasons as it uncovers the mystical Masonic symbolism hidden in the design of the city and in its monuments, statues and buildings.
From “all-seeing eyes,” pentagrams, and Egyptian-inspired obelisks, to the imposing and mysterious Masonic temples of the "Widow's Sons," Solomon’s Builders guides readers on a Freemason’s tour of Washington, D.C. as it separates fact from myth and reveals the background of Dan Brown's upcoming novel, The Lost Symbol, the sequel to The Da Vinci Code.
Chris Hodapp is the best-selling author of "Freemasons For Dummies," and co-author (with Alice Von Kannon) of "The Templar Code For Dummies" and "Conspiracy Theories and Secret Societies For Dummies." He is the editor of the Journal of the Masonic Society, and has appeared most recently on the History Channel in"Secrets of the Founding Fathers."
He can be contacted at hodapp.aol.com
Solomon's Builders: Freemasons, Founding Fathers and the Secrets of Washington D.C. ($14.95, Ulysses Press, paperback. 280 pages.. ISBN 978-1569755792)
Masonic Magazine Issue #7
Freemasons, Founding Fathers and the Secrets of Washington DC
by Stephen Dafoe
There are generally two classes of book written on Freemasonry. The first consists largely of speculative rubbish written for a general readership by non-masons, or conspiratorial nonsense written by half-crazed zealots who, having never taken a single Masonic degree, claim to be fully conversant with exactly what goes on in those so-called high degrees. The second class of book is written by Freemasons for Freemasons, and although they are of great value and well researched, they are seldom read even by our own members.
But lately there has emerged a third class of Masonic book; books written by Masons for a general readership. At the forefront of this new genre are writers like Christopher Hodapp, the author of Solomon's Builders.
Hodapp first came to the field as a result of the highly successful Freemasons For Dummies, which we reviewed in Issue 2 of this publication. As I have said many times since its publication, Freemasons For Dummies was the right book at exactly the right time, for after decades of non-existant Masonic education, along comes an easy to digest book for the neophyte and seasoned Mason alike.
In Solomon's Builders, Hodapp brings us something a little different; an academically written book on the early days of American Freemasonry without the pretentious trappings of most scholarly treatments on the subject. The book is meaty without being overwhelming and yet contains sufficient end notes to back the claims and research that has gone into the project.
But perhaps the greatest thing the book accomplishes is that it separates fact from fiction and will hopefully dispel some long held notions about the Founding Fathers, masonic symbols and the ever present eye in the pyramid on the dollar bill; many myths, which are willfully accepted by members of the fraternity.
Midwest Book Review
June 9, 2007
SOLOMON'S BUILDERS: FREEMASONS, FOUNDING FATHERS AND THE SECRETS OF WASHINGTON, D.C. deserves repeated and ongoing mention as an excellent survey of Freemason influences on United States history. It's hard to neatly peg this guide: it could go under new age or American history as neatly as in spirituality sections - so any library covering any of these topics needs SOLOMON'S BUILDERS, which presents a Freemason's tour of Washington D.C. and charts Masonic influence during the construction of America, from national monuments and symbolism in city streets to temples and keys to religious insights.
The Northern Light August2007
Solomon’s Builders Freemasons,Founding Fathers and the Secrets of Washington, D.C.
by Chistopher L. Hodapp.. Published in 2007 by Ulysses Press, P.O. Box 5440, Berkeley, CA $14,95,
Reviewed by Thomas w. Jackson. 33°
When I first saw the title referring to the secrets of Washington, DC, 1 had an immediate concern.
I was afraid that it would be a book claiming credit for Freemasonry not only for being greatly responsible for the idealism of the founding of the nation — that I do agree with — but also in the reflection of Masonic symbolism in the physical layout of the city
There are far too many members of our craft with a tendency to make relatively unsubstantiated claims regarding the layout of the city and I find it difficult to agree with them.
I did not have to read far into the book until my concern was reinforced. On page six the author stated, 'The building of a new capital, Washington, DC, would give the Masons a unique opportunity to combine the modern with the ancient styles of Freemasonry - the new speculative Freemasonry would now have a chance to actually work in stone, erecting its own city from the ground up."
I was very pleasantly relieved, however, when I found that this reference was not to infusing Masonic symbols into the physical layout of the city but rather to the injection of Masonic and Enlightenment thinking into the physical as well as the idealistic structure that was destined to become the pattern for so many other nations.
Indeed, this is one of the better books that I have seen that credits Freemasonry where credit is due, while debunking many of the more common claims made by both Freemasons who wish to see Freemasonry's positive influence everywhere, and by our enemies who use it to reveal Freemasonry's insidious attempt at world domination.
He has revealed the humanism of those early Freemasons who exerted their idealism, perhaps discovered in a Masonic lodge, showing that they were neither godlike in stature nor the precursors to the fallibility of present-day government leaders.
The author, who is also the author of Freemasons for Dummies, has written an interesting, intriguing and easily readable book and has performed commendably in presenting the influence of Freemasons and Masonic philosophy in the physical structure of Washington, DC, as well as the system of government without laying claim to more than we deserve.
He defines this book as "the story of that brief moment in time when Freemasonry, the Enlightenment, revolution and fate came together to build . . .” while pointing out that during the American Revolution the influence of Freemasonry played a vital role while it
was driven underground during the French Revolution.
The book is divided into 12 chapters that define effectively the origins and structure of Freemasonry, including pre-Masonic Utopian ideals, through its idealism of purpose; its impact upon the development of America; the prominent Freemasons involved with this impact, and the differences in the ideologies of the early Americans including Masonic brothers.
It goes extensively into the development of the city of Washington, DC, covering where
Masonic influence can be justifiably credited but also into the myths and legends that have been applied unjustifiably to Masonic influence. One chapter is committed to discussing Masonic sites and buildings to be found in our nation's capital, including photographs of those structures.
The final chapter is devoted to the final days, death, and entombment of Bro. George Washington.
I thoroughly appreciated some of his analysis and expressions involving Freemasonry, such as, "Freemasonry was the firstborn son of the Enlightenment and it was a greater single influence on our Founding Fathers than any other."
Also, had I gained nothing else from reading the book, I learned of the man "who invented America."
On the front cover is a statement, "discover the history behind the Da Vinci code sequel.” If this be the purpose of the book, it is the best that I have seen written, riding on the coattails of The Da Vinci Code.
I trust my review will stimulate you to read this book. It is worth reading and having in your library. It would also be a good book to recommend to non-Masons who seek a better understanding of the craft.
(There was an observation made on page 24 that confuses me. When you read it, see if you know to what I refer.)
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