by Christopher HodappOn Monday, May 24th, the Rubicon Masonic Society, Kentucky's William O. Ware Lodge of research, and Lexington lodge No. 1 will feature an online presentation with Mr. John Dickie, the author of the recent book, The Craft - How The Freemasons Made the Modern World. The program will begin at 7:00 p.m., EST.
I've been remiss for some time now in not mentioning the ongoing video presentations of Rubicon, the WOW LOR, and Lexington Lodge. There continues to be outstanding work and leadership coming out of Lexington, Kentucky, and they have been putting on outstanding video presentations since the COVID shutdowns began last year.
If you haven't read Dickie's The Craft, you should if you have any interest in learning about just how important Freemasonry has been throughout its centuries of existence.
The press' reaction to The Craft has been remarkably unusual for these days. When it was published last fall, English reviewers kept their usual anti-Masonic sniping to themselves and generally praised the book as being informative, evenhanded, and "eye-opening" (in a GOOD way). The book covers a pretty wide breadth, telling the history of the Craft since the 1500s by highlighting various individual Masons (and occasional non-Masons) who influenced its development. Considering the scope of the subject matter, Dickie does a good job of placing the fraternity in the context of the wider society surrounding it in different times and places. As Masons, we often have a bad case of tunnel vision by failing to look at the larger picture of what was happening in society in any given period that had big impact on the fraternity.
To answer the obvious question, John Dickie is not a Mason — his grandfather was, but he is not a Mason himself. He is a University College of London Professor of Italian studies, and the author of several books about the Italian Mafia, most notably, The Cosa Nostra (2005) and Blood Brotherhoods (2014).
UPDATE MAY 25, 2021