Review by Bro. Bil Vassily, Past Master, Liverpool Syracuse Lodge #501, Grand Lodge of New York used here by permission of Bro. Vassily.
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!!!