The Secret History of the World

The Secret History of the World

by Mark Booth


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781590201626
Publisher: The Overlook Press
Publication date: 02/23/2010
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 608
Sales rank: 56,516
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Mark Booth studied Philosophy and Theology at Oriel College, Oxford. He has worked in publishing for over twenty years, and is currently the publisher of Coronet, an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton/Hachette.

What People are Saying About This

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."

"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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Secret History of the World 3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 41 reviews.
guitaoist3 More than 1 year ago
I don't know what these other reviewers are talking about, they haven't a clue as to this books true 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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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 ...
Guest More than 1 year ago
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...
Nirgali More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
WHAT A STUPID BOOK!!!! I can't believe I actually paid real money for this TRASH. PLEASE DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT WASTE YOUR PRECIOUS TIME OR MONEY ON THIS BOOK. Rant over.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
mjb51 More than 1 year ago
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.
AuraNefertari on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Bad writing and terrible research
Sushmitam on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A completely new way of looking at world history and how esoteric knowledge affected the course of history through the ages via secret societies.
millsge on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read this book straight through 3 times when I bought it. Booth based the book on the world histories of the theosophists and other occult/hermetic/mystery groups. These "histories" are highly symbolic allegories about the evolution of human consciousness. The author took these myths (in the true sense of the word) and wove them into one trenchant myth that provides us with very effective tools to help us discover the history of the evolution of man's consciousness within ourselves. Some friends have asked me if I "believe" in this version of history or if I think the author "believes" in it. My answer is a question, "Do you believe in Timaeus or do you think that Plato believed in Timaeus?"
KR2 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The first half of the book was pretty good. The second half was written by Dan Brown I think.
brett_in_nyc on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a fascinating read. It had a kind of charming rambling quality, and definitely covered a great deal of what I imagine is solid academic knowledge as well as a good deal anecdotal picked up over many years of working in and around this field of esoterica and secret societies. The author is a publisher of these kinds of books in London. I am fascinated by the ideas presented about how consciousness has evolved over the millennia. In his novel 'Buddha', Deepok Chopra's even seems to evoke some of the same ideas about how the ancients perceived the world and interacted with all of the formats for god and goddess that have existed since then. So, that makes me think there is a lot of accepted knowledge in this book. It is clearly a Western perspective, and one that speaks to me of the triumphalism, or exceptionalism that we inherited from the Western religious traditions, and that has been used to serve us so well in materialism and exploitation of the planet and its people (and everybody else who lives here too), as well as silence any voices male and especially female who challenge the hegemony of these guys. I am a bit uncomfortable believing anything in a book like this that implies through the views of adherents to secret societies like the Knights of the Templar, or Freemasons that the Western traditions changed consciousness in a pre-destined, pre-ordained and definitively positive kind of way in our quest to conquer the whole world and all its people and win them over to our way of thinking (literally thinking as in 'practices of consciousness'). If anything, it seems to me the Knights stayed out East for so long precisely because the knowledge and practices of consciousness they picked up in Baghdad and Persepolis were so utterly exciting for them. I would be happier to read a book by someone who attempts to integrate Hindu, Buddhist, Persian, or Chinese point of view perhaps to balance this Western, Oxford and Eton educated type who wrote this book. I would also welcome anything about the Druids, Aztecs, Incas, and many others too who were all obliterated by our forebears. The Hopi and Navajo have some great texts I've read. Also, the whole perspective of the Sacred Feminine increasingly obviously missing from this so called superior Western consciousness and its overly Yang destroyed world of Wall Street and Washington DC und so weiter. I would love to find books by other scholars from those cultures to balance this one out as a reader myself, if no one has yet written that book. Given what has happened to the planet under the tutelage of the West, and to the condition of human beings in Western cultures, I cannot believe for a minute that we have a rap on consciousness. But, it is a good try and has loads of good stuff about our own Western culture from Greece that was buried by the powers that be, way back at the sacking of the libraries at Alexandria. My favorite is Pythagoras. It also paints an interesting hypothesis of the types and sources of inspiration for individuals throughout history who really have 'been the change' they wanted to see. One can wonder a little bit about this given the extreme pressures for conformity in society, and the poverty of mind, scarcity consciousness and ultimately the repetitive destruction that brings time and time again. Can't help but wonder where we'd be today if we had always had all that stuff present with us and available to inform our consciousness all along the way instead of burned up in smoke by a bunch of control freaks from Constantinople! I do look forward to the day when we can leave our mind control traditions behind that continue to cause so much trouble on the planet . This book does tell a kind of tale about the journey to re-integrate to more holistic practices and habits of mind that reach back to our real roots pre-Rome, pre-Abraham, or pre-Aten which were ultimately taken away from us by Constantine because he found something better to serve his materi
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book had great potential and I was prepared to challenge an orthodox thinking but was greatly disappointed. Mark Booth presents a his work as though he has substance to divulge, yet after only three "chapters" I found myself more frequently saying "uhh what?!?!". As a big fan of philosophy and history I've challenged myself consistently with profound ideas by Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Thucydides etc. THIS book of so called "secret histories" is little more than an alchemists blatherings and "esoteric" drivel. While technically it does challenge orthodox thinking it does so by propagating centuries old superstitions and stating them throughout the work without ANY: citations, sources or footnotes. The author in one paragraph makes logical conclusions based on fact and in the next paragraph says basically that Adam and Eve were "vegetables" and that there are "seven great spirits who work together as the great spiritual influence emanating from the sun".....Once again, no footnotes or sources for this "fact" leaving you saying aloud "uhh what?".
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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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