2001 1st edition, "First U.S. Edition 2001" stated; by Jasper Ridley; Arcade Publishing, New York; hardbound in ebony boards with bold gilt stamp lettering along spine; very good condition with unmarked pages; dust jacket very good.
For many centuries, since their founding as a guild comprising the master builders of the great castles and cathedrals of the Middle Ages, the freemasons have enjoyed a dual reputation: powerful-often munificent-rulers, politicians, and artists whose works have enhanced our world; and members of a dread secret society bent on evil. Here, the eminent historian Jasper Ridley offers a thoughtful, rounded assessment of freemasonry throughout the ages, from its origins up to the present day. Not a mason himself, Ridley nonetheless refutes many of the outrageous allegations made against the order and puts into proper perspective its many contributions to civilization over the centuries.