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The Illustrated Secret History of the World

de Mark Booth

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Since its first publication in 2008, The Secret History of the World has sold over 250,000 copies and established itself as the authoritative text on the subject of esoteric belief systems and secret societies. Now, with The Illustrated Secret History of the World, this landmark book achieves a new level of authority, adding to its thorough and revealing text more than 350 illustrations-many of them rare-of the symbols, drawings, engravings, paintings, and photographs that are a key part of the world's secret history. This richly illustrated edition features exclusive new material to accompany the original text in a beautiful package and oversized format. The Illustrated Secret History of the World presents a radical re-interpretation of human existence and a view of the world previously hidden from us.--… (mais)
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A terrible mish-mash of a book.

A guy who likes Rudolph Steiner's mish-mash Anthroposophical theories too much has basically read the whole bookcase of books in the New Age section at his local bookstore, thrown in some Joseph Campbell and a few nights at the Mason's lodge, and written a terrible mish-mash of a book.

I really don't know how to describe it. He is really almost a caricature of the "true believing" "Diabolicals" in Umberto Eco's <i>Foucault's Pendulum</i>.

Other reviewers note some of the inanities.

Lucifer is at one point Saturn and at one point Venus; at one point a good guy and at one point a bad guy. And the jewel in the middle of his head is the Holy Grail? Huh? Booth makes jumps in logic and free association that would make David Icke blush, and he makes names and personages fit into each other in a way that would make Immanuel Velikovsky blush. At one point he accepts David Rohl's redating of ancient Egypt, and then at another gives old orthodox dating for Akhenaten,

The thesis is odd too. Basically, man gets more enmeshed into solid matter, which was the job of the secret societies. Then, it is the job of the secret societies to get mankind un-enmeshed from solid matter. Huh?

And the dumb assertions: like the Greeks were the first to depict the human form correctly because that's when the human form assumed its current shape (ignoring all previous art); or Dante Alighieri was the first person EVER to fall in love at first sight because mankind didn't think inside their own brains until the 1200s. (Booth has taken Julian Jaynes's 1976 book <i>The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind</i>, which is an intriguing theory, way too too far.)

Anyway, it is a terrible mish-mash of a book. He has strolled through all of his new age, mythology, and fringe history books and tied bits and pieces together into an incoherent story supporting a thesis that makes no sense. The images are neat and some ideas are presented well, there are some cool tidbits here and there. Thus two stars. But, there are no citations, only a tiny-printed bibliographic essay of sorts at the end.

This illustrated edition has a wealth of nice pictures, all in color, that are interesting and neat.

Caveat emptor. ( )
  tuckerresearch | Feb 25, 2020 |
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Since its first publication in 2008, The Secret History of the World has sold over 250,000 copies and established itself as the authoritative text on the subject of esoteric belief systems and secret societies. Now, with The Illustrated Secret History of the World, this landmark book achieves a new level of authority, adding to its thorough and revealing text more than 350 illustrations-many of them rare-of the symbols, drawings, engravings, paintings, and photographs that are a key part of the world's secret history. This richly illustrated edition features exclusive new material to accompany the original text in a beautiful package and oversized format. The Illustrated Secret History of the World presents a radical re-interpretation of human existence and a view of the world previously hidden from us.--

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