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Coauthors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh recount the events that led to the strange and sudden disappearance of the Knights Templar in the fourteenth century and their reappearance in the court of excommunicate Scottish king Robert the Bruce. Following the survival of certain unexpected Templar traditions, the authors document the evolution of a world-changing order through the birth of the Masonic lodge. They chart the history of Freemasonry through its medieval roots and into the modern era. The book posits that the order#xE2;#xAC;"s contribution to the fostering of tolerance, progressive values, and cohesion in English society aided in preempting a French-style revolution in England; that Freemasonry was an essential keystone in the formation of the United States; and that America itself is an embodiment of the ideal #xE2;#xAC;SMasonic Republic.#xE2;#xAC; This groundbreaking thread of analysis challenges the accepted traditions of Western history as it is currently taught. What is the true source of our most valued traditions? Twenty years since its original publication, The Temple and the Lodge remains a trenchant and essential edition to any collection of Western history.