"To preserve the reputation of the Fraternity unsullied must be your constant care."

Saturday, December 10, 2011

New Book: "Secret Societies In America: Foundational Studies of Fraternalism."

A new book has been published, co-Edited by Mark. A Tabbert & William D. Moore: "Secret Societies In America: Foundational Studies of Fraternalism."

Fraternal organizations, often called "secret societies" because of their proprietary ritual initiations, have thrived in America since the 1730s. Only recently, however, have they become the subject of rigorous academic scrutiny. Bringing together foundational studies in American fraternalism by respected journalists, historians, and sociologists, this volume seeks to contribute to a greater understanding of this aspect of American life. Two respected authorities in the field have carefully selected and edited writings which shed light on how contemporaries understood fraternalism during its golden age of the 1800s, document how the 20th centuries scholars understood these groups, and hopefully facilitate further research into this quintessentially characteristic American phenomenon.

Journalistic Studies

1- Harwood, W.S. "Secret Societies in America." 1897
2 - Hill, Walter, B. “The Great American Safety-valve.” 1892
3 - Foster, J.M. "Secret Societies and the State" 1898
4 - Harger, Charles Moreau, “The Lodge,” 1896
5 - Weir, Hugh C. "Romance of the Secret Society." 1911
6 - Merz, Charles. "Halt! Who comes There?." 1923
7 - Merz, Charles. "Sweet Land of Secrecy." 1927
8 - Lehman, Milton. "It takes three to make a lodge." 1948

Historical Studies
9 - Schlesinger, Sr., Arthur M. "Biography of a Nation of Joiners." 1944
10 - Davis, David Brion. “Some Themes of Counter-Subversion: An Analysis of Anti-Masonic, Anti-Catholic, and Anti-Mormon Literature.” 1960

Sociological Studies
11 - Simmel, Greg. "The Sociology of Secrecy and of Secret Societies." 1906
12 - Gist, Noel P. “Culture Patterning in Secret Society Ceremonials.” 1936
13 - Gist, Noel P., “Structure and Process in Secret Societies.” 1938

Insurance Studies
14 - Meyer, B.H. "Fraternal Beneficiary Societies in America." 1901
15 - Stevens, Albert Clark. "Fraternal insurance." 1900
16 - Landis, Abb. “Life Insurance by Fraternal Orders.” 1904
17 - Nichols, Walter S., “Fraternal Insurance: Its Character, Virtues and Defects” 1904
18 – Page, Walter H., “Insurance that Does Not Insure.” 1911
19 - Knight, Charles K., “Fraternal Life Insurance.” 1927

295 Pages
Price: 24.95

Please purchase through the GW Masonic Memorial Gift shop -- proceeds help the Memorial's educational mission.
-- plus if you request, Mark will be happy to autograph copies.



  1. Terrific idea for a book! I am especially impressed that the Brion articles on "Counter-Subversion" was chosen. I have seen that article quoted in so many diverse sources, it is almost incredible. All the more so because it was originally published in a sort of out-of-the-way journal originally. An amazingly influential trajectory for one article!

  2. Thanks for the thumbs up, Peter.


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