Americans are fascinated by secret societies and have devoured exaggerated claims for their influence. At the same time, scholarly assessments of covert groups that have shaped American social, cultural, and political history have often undervalued their role or even questioned their existence.
This survey challenges both the exaggerators and the deniers. Freemasons? They may not be the hidden rulers of the world, but a significant number of America’s founders were Masons. The Know Nothings? Two American presidents joined the movement. The Bohemian Grove? Republican politicians and corporate leaders really did engage in strange behavior under the redwood trees through the 20th century.
Revealing fascinating facts about some of the most talked-about covert societies, including the Mafia, the Skull and Bones and the Ku Klux Klan, Secret Societies and Clubs in American History exposes the truth about the subcultures that made their mark on some of the most important events in the nation’s history and contributed to the shaping of the country itself.
- Based on scholarly research, this book appeals to both academics and the general public
- Sheds light on familiar figures from American history
- Includes photographs