The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Freemasonry

by S. Brent Morris, Ph.D.
Paperback. 334 pages. ISBN 1-59257-470-4
£12.99 UK; $18.95 USA; $25.00 CAN.

Freemasons are themselves, for the first time in a very long time, publishing books about Freemasonry, rather than leaving it to non-Masons who are often very deficient in their knowledge of the Craft. Non-Masons after all have no ‘inside knowledge’ and are therefore at a grave disadvantage. More than that non-Masons fail to appreciate that Freemasonry is a way of life and are unable to ‘see below the surface’. Their failures are therefore plain for all Freemasons to see. However, the book buying public have no way of knowing if books published about Freemasonry are factually correct and so a book such as this, written by a well respected and knowledgeable Freemason must command attention.

This book, as the title suggests, is aimed at the general reader with no knowledge of the subject (although there are some so called experts who would do well to read this! – Ed.) and it is laid out in the very clear and easy to read manner which is the house-style synonymous with the Idiot’s Guide publications.

As a general introduction to the world of Freemasonry one could do far worse (and sadly many people do!- Ed.) than buy this book. A lot of work has clearly gone into this book and that is admirable as all to often books written on the subject are not well researched – especially those by non-Masons. This this is an excellent corrective to such books.

Please be aware however that this book has the American public in mind and as Freemasonry in Europe is rather different must be read as a general introduction only. More importantly this guide, and I emphasis that word, does not in any significant way address the very different forms of Freemasonry as practiced out side the USA (and to a lesser extent Canada). There is a general, understandable, belief that Freemasonry is the same everywhere in the world – this is simply not true but this book will reinforce that impression. Freemasonry in Europe is substantially different to that in the USA to the extent that some now argue that ‘Freemasonry’ in North America is no longer recognisable as Freemasonry.

Nearer home, Freemasonry in Scotland (for an insight to that unique ‘type’ of Freemasonry you may wish to consider reading The Rosslyn Hoax?) is different again from Freemasonry in England. It has always been a source of difficultly for those writing about Freemasonry to understand how the Craft can be so different in two parts of the same land mass!

These concerns aside this book is highly recommended not least as an introduction to Freemasonry and it is one that does so with panache and numerous touches of humour.

Please remember that the Rosslyn Templars do not sell books (we’ve enough to do – Ed.) but we are slowly adding links to so that you can purchase, online, books which are reviewed here. Not all books reviewed on this site have a link to Amazon but The Complete Idiot’s Guide does – see below.

[iframe 120 240]

Other pages in this section: