The Secret History of the World

( 35 )

Overview

The amazing surprise New York Times bestseller, filled with "breathtaking glimpses into worlds that heretofore have been little explored" (Foreward)

They say that history is written by the victors. But what if history-or what we come to know as history-has been written by the wrong people? What if everything we've been told is only part of the story?

In this groundbreaking and now famous work, Mark Booth embarks on an enthralling tour of our ...

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The Secret History of the World: As Laid Down by the Secret Societies

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Overview

The amazing surprise New York Times bestseller, filled with "breathtaking glimpses into worlds that heretofore have been little explored" (Foreward)

They say that history is written by the victors. But what if history-or what we come to know as history-has been written by the wrong people? What if everything we've been told is only part of the story?

In this groundbreaking and now famous work, Mark Booth embarks on an enthralling tour of our world's secret histories. Starting from a dangerous premise-that everything we've known about our world's past is corrupted, and that the stories put forward by the various cults and mystery schools throughout history are true-Booth produces nothing short of an alternate history of the past 3,000 years.

From Greek and Egyptian mythology to Jewish folklore, from Christian cults to Freemasons, from Charlemagne to Don Quixote, from George Washington to Hitler- Booth shows that history needs a revolutionary rethink, and he has 3,000 years of hidden wisdom to back it up.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
Praise for The Secret History of the World

"An entire library's worth of scholarship [in] a single volume."
San Francisco Gate

"Authentically mind-boggling."
Kirkus

"Booth's history incorporates so many disparate philosophies. . . His universe is full of bizarre theories, entertaining primarily for their weirdness."
Publishers Weekly

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590201626
  • Publisher: Overlook TP
  • Publication date: 2/23/2010
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 142,207
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Booth taught philosophy and theology at Oriel College, Oxford and has worked in publishing for over twenty years. He is currently the publishing director at Random House Century Publishers. He lives in London.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 35 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(15)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 35 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Under rated

    I don't know what these other reviewers are talking about, they haven't a clue as to this books true implications...to claim that he jumps from topic to topic is very elementary seeing as how he is obviously attempting to UNiTE these "different" cultures with very interesting lines of esoteric thought. If you don't think he did the best job, pick up hancocks Fingerprints of the Gods, the author of that book btw heavily enjoyed this one.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2008

    Worth a Read

    I certainly don't believe everything written here, but if you read it with an open mind and a critical eye, I think you'll find some new ways of interpreting old knowledge. Mind before matter ...

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2008

    Unlike anything I've ever read

    In writing brief histories of the world as thought each were the truth as seen through the eyes of various secret societies past and present Booth's book is fascinating. Modern mythology you were never aware of if you will. He manages to find the intangible webs that seem to link many of them together and in doing so... just read the book. Great illustrations too...

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2011

    From a neophyte's perspective

    First i would like to say I am halfway through the book. This book is very intriguing. I am new to the esoteric schools of thought and I picked this book up to get an introduction to these subjects. The book is hard to keep up with because Booth does jump around from idea to idea. This is especially hard when one has no previous knowledge of these secret histories. This book has sparked my interest in learning more about ancient history, and alternative views of it. I do wish more research was evident, because it is so hard to completely believe this book. If more research was evident then I'm sure i would be compelled to read this more than I have. I would have loved to have sources cited so that I could continue research by myself. Overall it is a fascinating read, that has lead to some new thought on what theses secret belief systems are trying to explain.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 21, 2010

    Very secret indeed....

    Booth's books starts off with raving reviews from many sources. I was also very impressed by the fact that he has spent over 20 years in publishing. Then I read the first chapter, and the second... and began to wonder. Apart from the fact that Booth obviously struggles to maintain a coherent and straight train of thought to lead the reader through the maze of "ever so secret" issues, he has obviously a conceptual problem in that he bombards the reader with a mixture of theologian extrapolation and mystic (or esoteric?) fables that leaves the reader both exhausted and utterly bemused.

    Booth has undoubtedly conducted extensive research, and spent many hours sweating away at the laptop - but to what effect? There is much unscientific conjecture, theological speculation, and delving into the "mysterious" and "secret" fountains of "knowledge", producing at the end a narrative that is difficult to follow, let alone to understand, and often leaves the reader wondering why Booth sympathizes (apparently?) with unsubstantiated myths and legends, and (apparently?) belittles scientific research, which is considerably more persuasive and satisfying.

    Booth's explanation of evolution (based on "secret" insights) is amazing because it basically flies in the face of anything that science has determined over decades if not centuries. Booth is obviously totally unfamiliar with Richard Dawkins, and prefers to persuade the reader that Saturn or Jupiter has more to do with man's evolution than anything else.

    Overall, worth reading? Probably, but make sure that you have a comfortable seat and a glass of wine handy, because you're in for a rough ride. Would I recommend it? Only with great reservations. Where will I keep it? I have a spot in library where I keep "mystical" stuff, and if there is no room left on the shelf, perhaps under the wobbly table leg?

    I seriously doubt (but may be wrong) that any of the "raving reviewers" has actually read the book. If they have, I shall immediately cancel my subscriptions of "The Times", "The Daily Mail" and "The Mail on Sunday".

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2008

    What about......?

    Mark Booth's book reads like Arthur Clarke's 2001 - a rocket ship hurtling through history 'as laid down by the secret societies'. Both the known and unknown fly by like meteorites, as 'Captain' Booth points out and clicks on past events and a cast of characters, large and small in stature. A massive undertaking in its mission, The Secret History of the World, looks and feels like a pocket edition flight plan of a long range reconnaisance pilot. Not for the faint of heart, time traveler Booth shreds the fabric of history into threads which are then pulled apart and re-worked into mind-opening, if not mind blowing, new takes on episodes from the dawn to dusk of mankind. Alternating between acid rock, funky soul,heavy metal, and psychedelic jam, Booth re-mixes the tick,tock beat of time, marching to his own spiritual drummer and grooving to the song siren in his head. In the 1960's, Booth's book would have found its rightful place on bookshelves and in bookbags nestled right next to RD Laing, Richard Brautigan, etc.. So much for the praise, there are a few questionable items. Where, pray tell, are mentions of notables such as Sun Tzu, Machavelli, JFK, RFK, MLK, John Lennon, Saint Theresa, et al, whose art was life and lives were art? All of them too were bigger than life itself, and are also bigger in spirit after their deaths. Last but not least, what's up with the disclaimer paragraph at the bottom of page 157, Mr. Booth? 'The reader should beware of taking the same step. It is important you be on your guard against any impression that perhaps - to be fair - this version of history hangs together in some way, or that it feels true in some unspecific poetic or, worse, spiritual way. Important because a momentary lapse of concentration in this regard and you might, without at first noticing it and with a light heart and a spring in your step, begin to walk down the road that leads straight to the lunatic asylum.' What the heck man were you thinking 'or drinking' when you stuck this bit of hold harmless pseudo-legalese smack dab in the middle of an otherwise seamless flight? However, other than these couple of constructive criticisms, the book's a definite keeper. Right on and rock on, Mark!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2013

    A lot of meat is in this book...you can't daydream while reading!

    With over 575 pages, this book is filled with information, clearly the author spent uncounted hours assembling his message.

    I have a better than average reading comprehension level, and have had several decades of extended study in metaphysics, mythology and religion/spirituality--even so, it is easy to get bogged down in the story.

    You will find it worthwhile to read bite-sized, edible chunks and then digest that portion before moving on to the next topic.

    It seems like it would have been beneficial to all seekers of truth to have ended, or perhaps began, every chapter with an executive summation of the main points/facts/ideas, and then proceed to flesh it out over the course of 500+ pages. Instead, the relevant material is almost hidden in plain sight, and if you're not astute enough to see the secret wrapped in a mystery behind the veil, well, friend, guess you can't stroll into the inner sanctum today. Come back next year on the equinox and we'll see if you're ready to be initiated into the truth.

    All the above aside, it is a book that can guide you to a better understanding of the who/what/why of human endeavors, but you will have to make yourself read from A to Z.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 14, 2010

    False Advertising

    The beginning of the book was filled with numerous quotes about its originality and fresh point of view. I skimmed through the artwork and was excited to read about the new interpretations the author would propose. The author's biography stated that he had completed a great deal of research on the subject and I expected references to back up his theories. The book turned out to be a disappointment. The author switches from topic to topic without any discernible transitions. It is rare that he provides information to back up any of his claims. I began by agreeing with Booth that many modern readers are too narrow-minded regarding religion but I wasn't ready to take the leap of faith he requires of his readers. Despite its fantastical nature, the book wasn't particularly interesting and it was difficult to continue reading after the first few chapters. I would not have purchased this book if the contents had been accurately represented and I would not recommend it.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2010

    Just an amazing perspective!!!

    I recommend this book to those who think that know it all, or all those that are looking to understand more on this complexed subjects; in reality, nobody knows everything; we can only speculate and have an open mind. who knows, maybe we can get to the roots of truth.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 2, 2009

    Secret History of the World

    the wind blew and the bs flew. couldn't finish it, don't bother

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2013

    I bought this yesterday. Halfway through the first chapter was

    I bought this yesterday. Halfway through the first chapter was so incoherent I skipped half of it. Chapter Two....decided I must be sitting in a bar listening to an inebriated sot. Saturn is who? How many chakas equal how many emanations? Where was the editor?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2013

    I thought it was just me until it was too late and unfortunately

    I thought it was just me until it was too late and unfortunately I bought this book. I couldn't understand it because of all the skipping around and stuff thrown at you. It sounds like a bunch of psycho-babble of an author with perhaps just too much time on his hands. I'm sure this book is written from an "esoteric/enlightened' formula. Now I'm sounding like what I read. Which by the way, I couldn't make it through half the book. Turned my stomach in knots. Don't bother. There are a lot of other authors who know how to write these type of 'esoteric' books that won't leave your head spinning. So don't be like me and think you're dumb, cause I'm not and neither are you unless you fail to heed my advice by not wasting your hard earned money and precious time. A big NO on recommending this book. 

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  • Posted February 19, 2012

    LOL

    This is the most boring book I have ever read! Got through 1/2 of the chapters and could not stomach the BS and the stupid insight as to how the Ancients supposedly functioned to create and incorporate secret society(s) on this nonsense ("mind-over-matter" on our creation, etc...). Let alone it pronounced it as a secret society which was made for the Male-gender as it implies. If these "ancient people" really thought this way we would have been a sorry race indeed!

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 15, 2011

    Mature readers may release the floodgates of alchemical symbolism

    You can't step in the same stream twice. Human consciousness, like God's universe, is constantly evolving. Prophets, saints, and geniuses--may they ever quench their thirst at the initiatic spring--precipitated quantum leaps of understanding by suscribing to a secret train of thought apart from that of the majority.
    Booth drops all the famous names in history on his way to delineating a fantastic underground river of wisdom. It's a fascinating ride, yet an easy read. See if you can decipher the tantric signposts along the way.

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  • Posted November 19, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Fun, but Hardly Believable

    As with many works in this genre, The Secret History of the World as Laid Down by the Secret Societies is indeed entertaining. However, one should not take this book too seriously. It suffers from what almost every other book on secret societies suffers from - a lack of documentable sources/evidence. In other words - if I had to take this book into a court of law and defend it, I would ultimately and utterly fail in my task. The amount of hearsay evidence in this book, i.e. "I spoke with an initiate" or "A relative of a friend of mine who is associated with..." borders on the absurd in its frequent usage. If the author is not using hearsay at many points, he is using evidence that is purely circumstantial at best.. <BR/><BR/>Speculation can be fun and even mind-blowing.to a certain degree. I will give Mark Booth credit; he communicates information that makes you think. However, should a serious reader take the thesis and supporting information that the author gives in this book at face value? No. Rather, it should be taken with a grain... or 50...of salt.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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