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Paperback Freemasons for Dummies Book

ISBN: 1118412087

ISBN13: 9781118412084

Freemasons for Dummies

(Part of the Dummies Series)

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

Take the mystery out of the Freemasons Fascinated by Freemasons? Freemasons For Dummies is the internationally bestselling introduction to the Masons, the oldest and largest "secret society" in the world. This balanced, eye-opening guide demystifies Freemasonry, explaining everything from its elaborate rituals and cryptic rites, to its curious symbols and their meanings. With new and improved content, including updated examples and references throughout,...

Customer Reviews

6 ratings

Recommended by the Grand Lodge of Virginia

Chock full of useful knowledge about the craft. A great resource for all Masons seeking information about this fraternal organization.

An Excellent Introduction to the Mysteries of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons

Freemasons for Dummies is an excellent introduction to the mysteries of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons. If you know nothing about Masonry and are perhaps curious about this ancient fraternity, Freemasons for Dummies will answer most of your questions. Even if you were made a Mason long ago and have many years of experience in the Craft, you will still likely find a thing or two of interest in the pages of this book. Freemasons for Dummies is written by Chris Hodapp, a Past Master of Masonic Lodges in Indiana, and a member of the Royal Arch Masons, Cryptic Masons, and the Knights Templar, along with many other accomplishments in Masonry. Chris Hodapp is certainly well qualified and knowledgeable about Masonry, and shares this knowledge in an enjoyable, easy to read writing style, that makes Freemasons for Dummies both informative and fun to read. The book is divided into six major sections: 1. What Is Freemasonry ~ a history of Masonry, along with its philosophy and a discussion of some of ceremonies. 2. The Mechanics Of Freemasonry ~ explaining how Freemasons are organized, more about ceremonies, and the symbols of Freemasonry, along with a discussion of the myths and misconceptions surrounding the Masons. 3. Knights, Swords, Fezzes, And Dresses ~ discussing the appendant bodies of Freemasonry, such as the York and Scottish Rites, the Mystic Shrine, and the extended Masonic family. 4. Freemasons Today And Tomorrow ~ Is Masonry still relevant today? What is the future of the Masons? And... how to become a Mason yourself - 2B1Ask1. 5. The Part Of Ten ~ This section discusses 10 groups of famous Masons, 10 anti-Mason hoaxes and conspiracies, and 10 places of Masonic excellence: including the Freemason's Hall in Philadelphia, the Templar Church in London, and Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland. 6. Appendixes ~ Here we find the "Regius Manuscript", Anderson's Constitutions, and a list of the Grand Lodges throughout the United States and Canada. While there are certainly much grander tomes written about the Craft of Freemasonry and its mysteries, Freemasons for Dummies should not be discounted as a serious reference. Freemasons for Dummies is well-written, informative, and highly recommended for anyone interested in the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons.

Absolute best Freemason resource available

This is perhaps the best resourse out there on the craft. This book goes into great detail about the past, present, and future of Freemasonry, and gives an excellent primer on the goings on with the Fraternity. In a way that is respectful to the customs and secrets of Freemasonry it gives the uniniated a glimpse into what Freemasonry is all about, but does it in a way that even those who are members will find enlightening and entertaining. I myself learned a lot and was inspired by some of the stories Brother Hodapp tells in it, most notably why he decided to join the Craft. A great book for those who are new to Freemasonry, are old to it, or just want to figure out what the heck we do, this is a must read for any Masonic library.


Having been a member of the Masonic fraternity for more than forty years, I have had occasion to read most of the classics on explaining and defending Freemasonry. Now we have a single volume that treats the subject in a clear and fair fashion. Brother Chris Hodapp has produced the very best one volume book on the general background of Freemasonry that I have ever read. As is true with all of the "for Dummies" series it is a primer about the subject. Since it is written in the style of the "for Dummies" books, it is an easy read and doesn't get bogged down in a lot of technicalities. However, since it is so general, there will be some Masons that will find that a few details don't fit their particular jurisdiction. This does not spoil the soup! The history of the Craft covers the subject in an across-the-board manner that gives the reader enough to understand where it came from and how it evolved. The section on religion is an excellent treatment that is fair to the objections of some religious bodies and helps the reader to understand some of the criticisms of Masonry. Yet it gives viable arguments that support Freemasonry in spite of some of these objections. And the hoaxes, myths and misconceptions about the fraternity are very well presented. Explanations of the organization of Masonry and the history and place that the variety of appendant bodies have within the fraternity, are excellent. The thoughts about the future of this centuries old fraternity are positive and even suggestions for its revitalization are interesting and timely. This is THE book for anyone that does not know anything about the Craft as well as the member that may know something of his fraternity but can't quite put it all in perspective. And, the seasoned veteran of the Craft will also learn a lot. I heartily endorse the book for anyone interested in the subject of Freemasonry. Bravo, Bro. Chris!!! Bro. Bil Vassily, Past Master Liverpool Syracuse Lodge #501 Grand Lodge of New York

The primer on Freemasonry you've been looking for

Before getting into the nuts and bolts of my review of Freemasonry For Dummies, honesty compels me to disclose that the author, Worshipful Brother Chris Hodapp (read the book to get the skinny on the Worshipful Brother part), is a friend and Masonic brother whom it has been my great fortune to know for several years. Those of us in the Indiana Masonic community have long been informed and entertained via articles he has had published in the Indiana Freemason and by his musings on Hiram's Forum, an internet discussion board that he moderates for the Grand Lodge of Indiana. The stars were surely in their proper alignment when the For Dummies publishers contacted Chris about writing this book. Freemasons For Dummies is a book that sorely needed to be written and Chris was the perfect choice to write it. I'm delighted not only for Chris, but also for our fraternity and the many thousands of new readers who will be exposed to his enormous talent as a result of reading this book. Pick any topic addressed in Freemasons For Dummies-Masonic history, philosophy, symbolism, ritual, et. al. A trip to your local library will reveal dozens of tomes on every aspect of Freemasonry and its appendant bodies. Open almost any of the books and you will discover that much of it is written in language that in comparison would make the deed to your house read like a trash novel you might take along to the beach to pass the time while you catch a few rays. You will also find that there is no one book that adequately dissects all the basics of Freemasonry. The sad result is that there are a lot of Freemasons who know virtually nothing about the history of their ancient fraternity save what precious little they may have picked up in their lodgerooms over the years. Most non-Masons are either ignorant of Freemasonry altogether or awash in a sea of misconceptions and outright lies even if they have family members and friends who are Masons. In Freemasons For Dummies, Chris Hodapp tells the fascinating story of Freemasonry using plain language and his unique wit to keep your attention, but don't let it fool you for a moment. This book was impeccably researched and Hodapp shows that he knows his stuff. Obviously, the format of the For Dummies series precludes the presentation of an exhaustive history and no one would purchase this book with the expectation of finding one. Hodapp has done a masterful job of condensing the history of Freemasonry into one chapter and he hits every mark as the story unfolds. As you progress through the book, you will be introduced to the philosophy of Freemasonry, Masonic symbolism, the inner workings of a lodge, and get a virtual peek into a lodgeroom while the degrees of Freemasonry are being conferred. Much of what has heretofore been considered secret is revealed to the reader while the real secrets of Freemasonry remain unscathed. You will learn about several of the appendant bodies of Freemasonry such as the York Rite (including the K

Best intro to Freemasonry

Although I'm not a Mason, I've sampled perhaps a dozen books on Freemasonry during the past year. As I read this book, I knew it was the resource I'd been looking for. I wouldn't have thought the subject matter would fit the "For Dummies" format very well, but it does. Although the book is encyclopedic in its coverage, it's always clear and lively, and it never takes itself too seriously. It's a fun and informative read, as well as a reference to return to. I recommend it as the best introduction to Freemasonry I've found.
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