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The Real History of Secret Societies

Length: 12 hrs and 21 mins
Categories: History, World
3.5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

Non-member price: $48.69

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Publisher's Summary

Welcome to The Real History of Secret Societies, a historical look at the true-life groups which, if you believe the myths, are the unspoken power behind some of the world’s major turning points, from controlling the British crown to holding back the electric car and keeping Martians and Atlantis under wraps.

Prepare yourself. In this course brought to you in partnership with HISTORY®, you will be visiting some of history’s deepest rabbit-holes, across centuries and continents, in search of secret societies in all their varieties. You will journey to some very dark places, and frankly some odd and sometimes silly ones as well. During 24 eye-opening lectures, Dr. Richard B. “Rick” Spence, Professor of History at the University of Idaho, guides you through the fascinating, often mystifying - sometimes disturbing - world of brotherhoods, sisterhoods, orders, cults, and cabals that have influenced human culture from ancient times to the present.

You’ll understand how and why secret societies have attracted some of history’s most brilliant, and some of its most evil, minds. Often demonized by their enemies, many secret societies have become the stuff of myths and conspiracy theories. Why do they exist? And when they are invented or imagined, why would someone pretend they exist? What do secret societies believe? Who do they recruit? Most important, what influence do they have? Buckle up and get ready to find out.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2019 The Great Courses (P)2019 The Teaching Company, LLC

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    3 out of 5 stars

Hmmm...

A well presented series of lectures, but I never thought I would see the day when The Great Courses would allow a lecturer to in quote Alex Jones amongst other snake oil salesmen... I won't be keeping this audiobook.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sam Green
  • 11-11-2019

Outstanding, original, brilliant

This is on of the lighter courses I've taken at the Great Courses Series, but in the department of 'light' courses it is in a class of its own. Who among us isn't even a little bit curious about secret societies and 'the lords of humanity'? Well look no further, this amazing course is the real deal. Packing in almost all secret societies you might have heard of and a bunch more that were very real, and not a little scary (the Japanese Black Dragons for example).

I also enjoyed the clear delivery and personal anecdotes that the lecturer provided and only regret he didn't offer more lectures on the social context of secret orders. For example, do they respond to social tension and modern fears or try to hold to a tradition of sort? But that's really my own take. If you're in the mood for a delightful course that will keep you curious without wearing you out - this is the one.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Tp
  • 25-11-2019

Far more politics than fraternity.

The Professor starts with a definition of secret society broad enough to include Lenin's Bolshevik movement.

So this is one part fraternal history, one part "here's how power hungry people work using secrecy," and one big part speculation - which he readily admits as such.

Far more politics than fraternity. Strikes me as more late night TV than university course material. Least impressive of the Great Courses item I've ever downloaded.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael
  • 07-11-2019

More questions than answers...

Not that good. Every time the author states " This could be true" about XYZ secret society , at the end of the paragraph he states "but maybe not".

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Schmidt happens
  • 17-10-2019

Excellent

This series lived up to the description and my expectations. It was entertaining and informative, very high quality production.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • B. Hayes
  • 18-08-2019

Terrific outline of secret societies in history

Well done Professor! Learned a few new things and could have listened to another 24 lectures.

13 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • Howard Hallis
  • 12-10-2019

In depth and fascinating

Great series of lectures. I learned a lot and was impressed with the depth of research presented here. Professor Spence untangles the interconnected web of complexity within the history of various secret societies and presents an objective viewpoint in separating fact from fiction. He also explores when the line between what is true and false seems to blur. Thought provoking and compelling.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark A.
  • 19-01-2020

very informative. Excellent presentation!

Enjoyed the overinformed lecture ! Very knowledgeable and helpful. It flows beautifully from subject to subject ! Great Job !

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  • Chicken
  • 30-12-2019

Excellent and intriguing

A thorough survey of secret societies with well thought-out connections between them. The way he keeps linking one to the other and reminding us of ones that we heard of earlier in the series is very helpful. Also, I believe it's the instructor reading this, and he does an excellent job. The man could have a career in voice-over if he ever gets tired of research and teaching.

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  • Toby Pennington
  • 24-09-2019

1st Book I couldn't finish

long winded conspiracy theories...not a history of started at this place at this time..he actually mentions aliens several times...

10 of 21 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 26-11-2019

A real disappointment!

Not interesting at all as I expected it to be. After a few lectures I stopped wasting my time. i hate that I wasted my money.

2 of 5 people found this review helpful