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The Secret History of the World
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The Secret History of the World

3.54 of 5 stars 3.54  ·  rating details  ·  736 ratings  ·  110 reviews
Here for the first time is a complete history of the world, from the beginning of time to the present day, based on the beliefs and writings of the secret societies. From the esoteric account of the evolution of the species to the occult roots of science, from the secrets of the Flood to the esoteric motives behind American foreign policy, here is a narrative history that ...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published September 2007 by Quercus (first published 2007)
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Jackie
This is a fascinating read, but it's definitely not for everyone. If you're scientifically minded and need "proof" for his suppositions, you won't make it out of chapter one. However, if you approach it with an open mind and look at this book as a collection of ideas (of the author's, but also from many mystics and spiritualists through the ages) then it's extremely thought-provoking.

Some of it's a bit strange (the vegetable part of man is hard to wrap your head around), but all in all I didn't
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Neil Kelly
mostly rubbish, with a lot of crap thrown in. A "romp" of logical fallacies, outlandish claims, cherry-picking of history, nothing new in fact. failure to differentiate the 'reporting' of facts (material or otherwise) from the drawing of inferences (of the unknown/unknowable from what can be known) from the making of judgements based on evaluation of the former (ie. clarification of values). So many claims qualify as banal, superficial, simplistic, even absurd - about Idealism versus Materialism ...more
Robert Lomas
In this book Jonathan Black sets out to capture the common elements of spiritual intuition which have inspired mystics and visionaries since the human race first began to tell itself stories about its origins and purpose. He puts forward ancient ideas such as 'the cosmos created the human brain in order to be able to think about itself' which eerily echo the modern thoughts of physicist John Wheeler who says 'By looking back, by observing what happened in the earliest days of the universe, we gi ...more
Sasha
This book intrigued and repelled me for a very long time.
Intrigued because it had obvious appeal of unknown,attractive subject but the covers were so gaudy,tasteless and sensationalistic that I had impression this would turn into some silly rambling about cosmic plots against everybody and everything on earth. Than after months of world traveling,this book popped out in my local bookstore and I decided this was the sign: if it follows me from South Africa to my own corner of Croatia,it is obviou
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McKerley &  Schippers
The Secret History of the World is unique and therefore hard to review.
I think, in a hundred, maybe two-hundred years from now; people will point at this book and say:

"That was the time when humanity started to wake up and realized they could actually use the powerful knowledge they had been given throughout their esoteric past".

We don't always see it now, as we still live in the forest and then its hard to see the all the trees; but these are changing times in which humanity is making a shif
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Timothy Hunter
Jan 30, 2008 Timothy Hunter rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People who like to read almanacs
Recommended to Timothy by: Found it on a table
This is a serious book by an Oxonian and 20-year publisher. It was written from scraps of odd books picked up by the author (British). Publisher's Weekly says of the author's work that: "(Mark) Booth's history incorporates so many disparate philosophies...His universe is full of bizarre theories, entertaing primarily for their weirdness."

I am reading Chapter 17 about "The Age of Islam." It doesn't suggest much wierdness unless we classify the fact that Mohammed asked the Archangel Gabriel, while
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Nathan
The only two things I can fault is, for one, the ending .... the ending! It doesn't even end! It just stops! Secondly, if one reads the back cover, it's a bit misleading. If you knew nothing about it, you'd think it was a conspiracy book. What the book is actually about is the evolution of the spirit world and the history of secret societies, noting very strongly the influence they have had on the world.

Now onto the book itself: I found it to be extremely interesting. I wouldn't readily agree wi
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Tim Pendry
Mar 23, 2008 Tim Pendry rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in esoteric matters
Well, what a romp. I can only add what I put into a Blog Posting on this one ... " [it] could be read as a cynical attempt to capture interest in the occult, as an occult attempt to re-introduce the 'Hidden Masters' to the wider public, as a 'sinister' ideological project to undermine the Enlightenment, as playfulness, as an attempt to rehabilitate imagination and subjectivity as equal to rational thought, as an experiment in creating a 'grand narrative' for the esoteric or as genuine attempt to ...more
Fiona Ingram
For anyone interested in esoteric matters, mysteries, legends and many of the "is it true?" questions that haunt the world's myths and legends, this book is a must. From the world's beginnings, back in the mists of time, right through to present day, the author unfolds an ideology that many will find riveting, but equally as many will find either incomprehensible or down right unacceptable. True, some of the ideas tease the imagination and here the author warns sceptical readers to skip certain ...more
Cian O'donnell
I quit this book after 80 pages because it annoyed me to no end. I would probably never have began it in the first place, but I was recommended it by a friend who said that it summed up his views about the world. So I tried to give it a go. I stopped because almost every section appeared as pure conjecture based on little evidence. For example (page 53):

"Therefore let us now try to imagine ourselves into the mind of someone about two and a half thousand years ago, walking through woodland to a s
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Little Miss Esoteric
It helps to have a sound understanding of world mythology, history, metaphysics and the occult, before embarking on The Secret History of the World. If you don't, you may end up throwing the book at the wall. It will undoubtably offend some devotedly religious church goers, a good many atheists and a few new agers, but personally I find it fascinating.
Ghalib Dhalla
Finally finished this book and just loved it. Requires some patience because it's packed with information about the esoteric and secret teachings, but will leave you craving for more if you're into that sort of thing.
Peggy
I totally loved this book... totally inspired me and fascinated me as I love history and find exciting all this fascinating theories.

Not te be read if you're alergic to esotericism of course :-)
Paul Fadoju
As you travel with Mr Black, your imagination and concept of life starts to grow. The things that were like seed form in your imagination starts to blossom. He took us into the ancient worlds, the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Mayans and as you trace the folklores and myths.....you wonder, were these realities real to our ancestors.

The world of the Esoteric which was clouded in darkness and mystery is now calling out to most modern mind and Mr Black has contributed his own bit to that age long won
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Samuel
Living in this day and age, it is often assumed that "science" (narrowly defined as the rational belief in random causation in the creation and workings of the universe) provides a more reasonable explanation for the the history of the world than "religion" (narrowly defined here as the spiritual belief in divine creation and causation in the universe). Mark Booth (sometimes known by his pen name Jonathan Black) attempts to demonstrate in THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE WORLD: AS LAID DOWN BY THE SECR ...more
Lord Beardsley
Not so much as a "conspiracy theory" book that so many seem to see this as, is this more of a philosophy book about human perception over the course of time. Fascinating and thought-provoking, this book is packed with interesting and strange myths, truths, beliefs, and analysis of the ways in which humans have percieved the world around them since *before* the dawn of civilizations up until around about the present day. It's about seeing the world differently, and that in itself is worthy of giv ...more
Chris
This is one of the most informative books I have ever read about messianic figures throughout history, myths and religions and charting of human progression from the earliest dawn of time. It has very little bias and as a result of over twenty years of reading/research it is heavily referenced and offers differing interpretations which have been offered from many contemporary and historical commentators. I will return to this book many times to try absorb as much as I can. The closest book I can ...more
Raditya
In no doubt this is one of the most captivating book I've ever read. The theme is quite something. A very good mixture of philosophy, human science, myths, politics, its just so many things going on. I have not found a book with so many variety of cultures mashed into one. The fact that the author linked several myths & legends from different parts of the world and drew a red line between each of them, made me rekindle some of my beliefs regarding world history.

I'm a big fan of occult &
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Marie-christine Matos
Really really good book ... well, for those who have a mind which allows for controversial theories/ views (not even sure these are the correct terms to describe it) ... really liked it and i am thinking of reading it again ina couple of months as the amount of information is huge. It makes you think and question which is good. The bibliography mentioned to write the book is interesting too and gives the reader an opportunty to explore more of what the author wrote.
It has been a long time since
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Matt
I think most of the criticisms of this book stem from a general misunderstanding with the way it's written. If you take everything that Mark Booth writes as actual accounts of physical events then you're going to be scratching your head many times throughout this book. I don't think that's how it's intended, however. What is intended is to take the reader through many different perspectives of consciousness based on how various societies and cultures viewed the world at the time. When one allows ...more
Jonas
Changed this to 2 stars instead of 1 because no matter what feeling the book left me with, it still had some interesting information about various religions/cultures/cults/and so on. But,

Jonathan kind of lost me in the beginning when he stated that he refused an initiation into a secret society based on the fact that he would never get to talk about it if he had joined. Instead he went on with his research, using his eyes of faith, and asks us to look at it in the same way as he does: with a bel
...more
Benjamin Pearson
A really fascinating and entertaining read, have always found the occult fascinating and this was a fantastic history and introduction for it.

The beauty of this book lies in the introduction where he asks the reader to imagine if the book was true. Silly people who have dove in and become frustrated as it doesn't conform to their dogma have really missed out on a good read, as whether or not it is entirely true is beside the point. I personally enjoyed this book as more of a curiosity, rather t
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Giles
Just finished reading it.
I can now safely repeat my initial thoughts. It stimulates mixed feelings: "un-put-downable" because it goes very far in trying to tell you the why, while our scientific methodology and philosophy are more about the how. Materialism while defined as a blip in history is also viewed as a reductionist and rather dogmatic approach.

Irritation goes along with fascination, but the whole book is a thought experiment of which the author honestly reminds you along the way.
There c
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Maria
This is a very interesting book that you need to read with paper and pen to take note of all the thing you will want to know about after their introduction in this book. Go for it!
Jana
Entertaining if only for it's absolute bat-bleep craziness. Reading it was like listening to Coast-to-Coast with George Noory or Art Bell.
Austin
WHOA! I mean, seriously, this book lays it ALL down. I couldnt believe how much it covers. Apparently Mark Booth was approached by someone high up in one of the prominent Secret Societies, and the research done is astonishing. This monumental work was everying I hoped it to be, and I bought it at the store in CASH. I don't suggest leaving a paper trail with this one, ladies and gentleman. If they ask for your email (which they did) say NO, throw some papers into the air and run out of the store.
Elizabeth
Billed as the history of the world's beliefs as reflected in the activity and influence of secret societies, this is a very interesting if dense book. The beginning starts with the development of consciousness; instead of people thinking, first there were thoughts peopling -- that mind came before matter. The story of early humans is the story of matter getting denser and denser until it materialized, but the connection with the spirit world was still very tangible at first. In fact, certain sit ...more
Michael Kneeland
Jul 14, 2008 Michael Kneeland rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who likes to read crap.
By gum, do I love a good conspiracy theory. I simply devoured all of those stories surrounding the Illuminati and the Knights Templar and Christ's ostensible lineage when Dan Brown went a step beyond the scholars a few years back and broke them out into mainstream thought. Thus, I picked up Mark Booth's book, The Secret History of the World, thinking, "Zounds! More conspiracy theories!" Unfortunately, I finished the book thinking, "Whatever, man."

There are two main problems with this book: first
...more
Marie-Eve
Concept de livre très intéressant, mais mon opinion est assez mitigée.

L'ésotérisme m'a toujours intéressée, donc lorsque j'ai trouvé ce livre à la bibliothèque, j'ai cru tomber sur un genre de résumé simple de l'ésotérique. Par contre, ce fut loin d'être une lecture facile. Il y a tellement d'Informations et de références à des centaines d'œuvres que cette lecture a plutôt été un travail pénible. Parfois les références me faisait aller consulter d'autres œuvres car je voulais en savoir plus, ce
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Erik
Although the sheer weight of facts and knowledge in this book is impressive, it is also overwhelming. It is unfortunate that throughout the work many interesting examples of alternative historical interpretations are suggested, none of them are actually met or accompanied by even the slightest hint of argumentation, resulting in c.500-pages of non-stop fact presentation.
Also, call me a sticker for rules, call me a "square" even, but I found it impossible to follow the chronology of events in thi
...more
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Jonathan Black is the "nom de plume" of Mark Booth (Century, Random House, UK).
Unfortunately Goodreads does not recognize as one and the same books by a "different" author, even when the difference is an obvious spelling mistake, let alone when an author chose a pseudonym for the original edition...
More about Jonathan Black...
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