Island Freemasonry
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Island Freemasonry, by John Bizzack, explores Masonic history to shed light on membership trends in America's largest, and oldest, fraternal organization. Through meticulous scholarship and detailed research, the author documents the causes for the expansion (and later contraction) of American Freemasonry. Hard bound book with dust jacket. 214 pages. ISBN 978-0-88053-114-6


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In the United States, the last one hundred years has seen Freemasonry, once a cornerstone of American civil society, subside in influence, popularity and relevance. From an all-time membership high in the 1950s, American membership numbers steadily declined for the last fifty years, resulting in half-empty lodge rooms and shuttered temples across the nation.

Why? What changed?

From Anderson’s Constitutions to the Morgan Affair to the Post-War Boom in membership, John Bizzack’s latest book Island Freemasonry: the Final Bastion of the Observant Lodge answers those questions by examining the evolution of American Freemasonry from its arrival in colonial times to the twenty-first century. In this groundbreaking new study, Bizzack traces the roots of Masonry’s decline by charting how the U.S. grand lodges lost their way, departing from the original plan of Masonry in a never-ending quest for numbers.

Through meticulous and thoroughly documented scholarship, the author documents the formation and spread of the Order in North America and charts its early successes until the cataclysm: the Morgan Affair, after which everything changed. In the period that follows, nothing escapes Bizzack’s gaze as he explores social evolution, grand lodge policies and local lodge practices which contributed to the fraternity’s reversals.

But beyond documenting the ills suffered by the American Freemasonry, Bizzack reveals the prescription for its recovery; a return to the core values of the order emphasizing proper instruction, education and preparation for leadership.

Island Freemasonry is a must-read for all students of the Fraternity, and should be required reading for all Masons in leadership positions whether at the local or grand lodge level.


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by Brother
on 2/27/2018
Thank you
we met at the Grand Lodge We had a brief conversation about Josephus and Our local reading club that was reading M.P. Hall Secret Teachings. You insisted that I purchase Island Freemasonry, which I did. A fascinating read, much of which I was cognizant of but there were aspects that I had not considered previously. Overall, the book is dead on so to speak. The issues that plague the craft are deeply rooted. In the past forty years I have witnessed the topics within the book unfold within our lodge system. Within our District we had two prevailing approaches to the issue. One our study group that functions as brothers with a certain level of secrecy which we aspire to guard among us. We feel free to discuss any topic within the group but not outside of it. An Island by definition I suppose. The other approach is a lodge that is doing well in recruiting quality members to its core group. I wish to thank you for recommending this book
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