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Recommended Reading
Book Reviews
by Cathy Giaimo, Assistant Librarian

The Library is always on the look out for interesting authors and their books. Two recent acquisitions fill this bill quite nicely.

"American Freemasons: Three Centuries of Building Communities"
book1A new book on the history of American Freemasonry, has recently been published by the National Heritage Museum in Lexington, Mass. and New York University Press. The book written by Mark A. Tabbert, curator of Masonic and fraternal collections at the museum, is based on a museum exhibition that he developed in 2002. Mr. Tabbert's objective is to explain Freemasonry, its attraction to millions of American men who have joined the Fraternity and their contributions to our society. He begins his book with some of the early history and legends of Freemasonry, its development in England and its move to the American colonies. From there he looks at the growth, trials and reinvention of Freemasonry in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This book is a true labor of love for Freemasonry and its members. Not only is this book well researched it is lavishly illustrated; demonstrating the many ways Freemasonry has manifested itself.

David McCullough has written many books on American history and personages. A follow-up to his immensely popular & Pulitzer Prize winning biography "John Adams" is the history of that singular year "1776" focusing on this one year of the American Revolution. Mr. McCullough devotes his energy by telling the stories of the ordinary men and women who fought on both sides of the war as well as the military leadership of George Washington and the two men that would prove to be decisive leaders, Nathaniel Greene and Henry Knox. Not only is the American side explored but he also goes into the British view as well. The beginning of the book starts on Oct. 26, 1775 with His Majesty King George III speaking before Parliament where he declares the American colonies in rebellion and his resolve to crush it. In fact the year 1776 is one of more defeats than successes with General Washington managing to hold on to his troops by sheer force of will and personality. By the end of the year the "rabble" (what the British called the rebels) had succeeded in routing the British at Trenton and Princeton and gained their grudging respect.

While "1776" does not mention Freemasonry, "American Freemasons" covers the early years of Freemasonry in the colonies and the prominent men involved in both the fraternity and the Revolutionary War. Both books tell a rousing story of American and Masonic history. As always, these and other books are available for your reading pleasure.

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