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THIS PAGE NEEDS A BIG OVERHAUL with addition of many of the most recent publications. We'll be working on that in the very near future! Please stay tuned.... In the meantime, though, feel free to browse our book reviews here which include a number of works after this list was compiled.

What should I read first?

We regularly get inquiries from Masons and non-Masons alike asking "What should I read to further understand Freemasonry?". Anti-Masons will sometimes refer to 'recommended reading lists' of lodges - which, in reality, do not exist.

Essentially, there is no specified 'reading list' for Freemasons. Over the years, a few individuals and/or organizations have cobbled together a list of things that they feel are valuable but such lists are the exclusive work of the individual and often greatly reflect their particular field of interest or fascination. No such list should ever be considered as required and, regrettably, there are those Masons who do not take seriously the admonition that they should make a daily advancement in their education.

We've seen a dozen or more lists over the years and although we were always able to find something we'd missed, we'd never seen the 'perfect' list for both Masons and non-Masons. With that understanding, we've taken from the Grand Lodge of New York's Livingston Masonic Museum a list of books they recommended for a reading course they designed for New York Masons in 1998. We then removed those works specific to New York Freemasonry and updated the now several year old list with a couple of more recent publications (noted with an asterisk) that we felt worthy of inclusion. We'll use the same groupings they used.  

A.  STANDARD COURSE

Masonic Philanthropies
  by S. Brent Morris
 
The Craft and its Symbols
  by Allen E. Roberts
 
A Comprehensive View of Freemasonry
   by Henry Wilson Coil
 
The Builders
   by Joseph Fort Newton
 
Along Masonic Trails
   by Wilmer E. Bresee
 
The Men's House
   by Joseph Fort Newton
 
The Newly-Made Mason
   by H. L. Haywood
 
Freemason's Guide and Compendium
   by Bernard Edward Jones
 
Foreign Countries
   by Carl Claudy
 
A Pilgrim's Path
   by John J. Robinson
 
The Freemasons *
   by Jasper Ridley
Masonicinfo Review

 

B.  ADVANCED COURSE

Dear Brother Herman
   by Herman Sarachan
 
The Genesis of Freemasonry
   by Douglas Knoop and G. P. Jones
 
The Pocket History of Freemasonry
   by Fred L. Pick and G. Norman Knight
 
Facts, Fables, and Fantasies of Freemasonry
   by William A. Brown
 
Masonic Symbolism
   by Charles C. Hunt
 
Revelations of a Square
   by George Oliver
 
Sources of Masonic Symbolism
   by Alex Horne
 
Famous Masons
   by H. L. Haywood
 
The Clergy and the Craft
   by Forrest DeLoss Haggard
 
A Masonic Thought for Each Day of the Year
   by Alphonse Cerza
 
Spirit of Masonry
   by William Hutchinson
 
The Meaning of Masonry
   by Walter Wilmshurst
 
The Masonic Ladder
   by John Sherer
 
The Temple and the Lodge
   by Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh
 

 

C.  AMERICAN HISTORY COURSE

Revolutionary Brotherhood
    by Steven C. Bullock
 
House Undivided
    by Allen E. Roberts
 
House Reunited
    by Allen E. Roberts
 
Masonic Membership of the Founding Fathers
    by Ronald F. Heaton
 
Freemasonry and the Presidency
    by Ray Vaughn Denslow
 
Colonial Freemasonry
    by Louis C. "Wes" Cook
 
Freemasonry in the Thirteen Colonies
    by J. Hugo Tatsch
 
Cornerstones of Freedom
    by S. Brent Morris
 
Brother Truman
    by Allen E. Roberts
 
George Washington, Master Mason
    by Allen E. Roberts
 
Freemen and Freemasons
    by James W. Beless
 

 

D.  RECREATIONAL COURSE

The Lodge in Friendship Village
    by P. W. George
 
These Were Brethren
    by Carl H. Claudy
 
The Man Who Would Be King (and other stories)
    by Rudyard Kipling
 
Twice-Told Tales
    by L. C. Helms
 
A Treasury of Masonic Thought
    by Carl Glick
 
Tied to Masonic Apron Strings
    by Stewart M. L. Pollard
 
Born in Blood
    by John J. Robinson

Masonicinfo Review

Two Crowns for America
    by Katherine Kurtz

Masonicinfo Review

Focault's Pendulum
    by Umberto Eco
 


In addition to the excellent selections outlined above, the Livingstone Masonic Library also has suggested reading material for a Warden's course, Public Speaking course, District Deputies' course, Royal Arch course, Scottish Rite course, Masonic Antique Collector's course, Lives of Famous Freemasons course and Masonic Organizations course. Check them out here.

 

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