A global history of the world’s most famous secret society, encompassing kings and presidents, writers and legislators, composers and entertainers, generals and entrepreneurs.
During the Scottish Reformation, when kings, princes, and popes were being toppled from their thrones, a new and secretive society was formed. The Freemasonry’s fixed rules, suggesting a connection to an ancient wisdom and known only to its initiates, attracted many antagonists, including the Roman Catholic Church, but also attracted a diverse range of members, from tradesman, merchants, actors, lawyers, Jews, and even people of color.
The Craft is a vibrant, revelatory history of the Freemasons, their core ideas, and its members, including revolutionaries (Giuseppe Garibaldi, Simón Bolívar, Motilal Nehru, and George Washington), rulers (five of England and no fewer than fourteen U.S. Presidents), and luminaries (Arthur Conan Doyle, Goethe, Mozart, Shaquille O’Neal, Harry Houdini, Henry Ford, Buzz Aldrin, and Walt Disney; the Duke of Wellington, Duke Ellington, and more). John Dickie captures the mystique of Masonic secrecy, and shows why its history is too important and too compelling to be the exclusive property of the initiated as Freemasonry has had a role in shaping the world for all of us.