Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Digging into The Hidden Message of the Great Seal {A Homeschool Review Crew Review}

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

I was thrilled when I was given the chance to read a historical research book titled, The Hidden Message of the Great Seal  by Michael Kanis. This book from The Hidden Message, LLC came at the perfect time because we have been learning about early American history. 

This 256-page softcover book really intrigued me. I'd heard different accusations regarding important people in our country's history adding certain parts to the seal because of freemasonry or some sort of new world order. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I believed such conspiracy theories, but when I learned of this book, I was truly interested in what the true story behind the Great Seal was. Though I admit, I was a little hesitant, thinking, wait, what if this book ends up being misleading. Thankfully, I have discovered that that concern was unfounded. 

There are a total of 24 chapters, including an introduction and a conclusion, plus a section for endnotes. Here is a list of the chapter titles: 
  1. Introduction
  2. Time Capsule
  3. The Significance of the Seal
  4. Setting the Stage
  5. A Tale of Two Systems
  6. Studying the Seal 
  7. How Could It Have Been Hidden So Long?
  8. Charles Thomson
  9. Francis Hopkinson
  10. The Pyramid
  11. Annuit Coeptis
  12. Novus Ordo Secorlum 
  13. The Eye
  14. The Early Designs Part I
  15. Early Designs Part II
  16. The Covenant
  17. The Front of the Seal
  18. The Four Pillars
  19. Virtue
  20. Freedom
  21. Providence
  22. Unity
  23. Unexpected Connections
  24. Conclusion
The first nine chapters of the book set the stage for the rest of the book, explaining the importance of the seal. It discusses important seals from the past, and includes images.

It explains how our founding fathers would have put a lot of import in the making of the seal and the seal itself. I love that the book explains how the founding fathers, specifically George Washington put a lot of importance on believe and trust in God. and there are lots of his quotes. We see the importance of holding fast to the form of government our founding fathers gave us, a system that has worked for years.

The chapters that focus on Charles Thomson and Francis Hopkinson seemed a bit out of place to me at first, but then I realized the author was sharing their background to express their credibility in their part in creating the seal.

The author then focuses on the reverse of the seal, starting with the pyramid. I found so much intriguing information in this chapter. This is the part from the front of the seal that the author spends the most time on. As he does with the Eye, Mr. Kanis starts out by dealing with the misconceptions and debunking them. I appreciated that he showed the common thoughts on the meaning of the 13 steps, but digs further into the meaning, looking back through history and showing the connection with the Solidus from Byzantine empire.

I was quite intrigued.

The book goes into such detail, making sure to show how thoroughly the designers thought through the images, the format, and the words that went onto the seal. 

The common thought behind the 13 step pyramid is that they represented the original 13 states, and it was unfinished, because the country could still grow. But the author shows that their is dual symbolism. Mr. Kanis is very thorough in showing how much Godly principles and virtues would have played a part in what the designers wanted from not just the seal, but for our country. As we have just recently been learning about Benjamin Franklin, I was quite interested to learn that the 13 rows also symbolize Franklin's 13 Virtues.

The author then expresses how important it is for our country to get back to the founding fathers' beliefs on the importance of virtue, showing how without it, our country will eventually fall into tyranny. And as I was reading the book, I could see the truth in what he was saying. He even shared a chart which depicts the stages of government as written about by Plato in The Republic thousands of years ago. Honestly, it is scary to see where our country could be heading as it falls further away from the ideals our founding fathers held so dear, and made sure were in place in such things as the Great Seal, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution.

The next three chapters focus on the final parts of the reverse of the seal. Then the author looks at the Early Designs.

And shows that even though the changes, there was a consistent message and common elements.

I noticed that the information about the front of the seal didn't take up near as much room in the book. In fact, the Front of the Seal is just one chapter that incorporates each symbol and it's extended metaphor. 

The book concludes with chapters that talk about the major themes found in the seal: virtue, freedom, providence, and unity. 

As I mentioned above, this book is quite intriguing. I appreciate the detail that the author put into the book and the research that he did. It is so important to understand what the founding father and the designers of the Seal really had in mind when they designed it. This book sure is enhancing my understanding our the beliefs of our founding fathers and my understanding of American History.

I have not yet shared the book with the children. There is a lot of information here that I feel can't quite be grasped by them at this time. When I find some information that intrigues me, I do like to share, sometimes with them or with my husband. I am still working my way through the book and am really enjoying. But I read non-fiction books quite slowly and find myself needing to reread portions multiple times to get things to "click." I am sure as I continue to read the information in the book, I will be just as intrigued as I have been so far.

The one concern I had with the book is that it is a softcover book and is heavy and bulky and very hard to hold while reading. This in no way negates the message of the book, but I did want to bring it up. I found the easiest way for me to read the book is to be lying down and be able to balance the book on the bed or couch beside me.

I don't know if would have been easier to handle if is was a hardcover book or not. Because that would have made it heavier, but then the one side of the book wouldn't be flopping so much.

It is definitely a great book for adults and older middle school/high school students, for understanding our great country of the United States of America, and definitely a book I fell should be in every homeschool family's library.

In fact, you can get the book for 50% off until May 30th, 2020 by using the discount code that was generously offered. This can be used if you purchase the book from The Hidden Message website. Just enter the coupon code: HOMESCHOOL at checkout.

Don't forget to click on the banner below to read what my fellow Crew Mates had to say about The Hidden Message of the Great Seal. 

The Hidden Message of the Great Seal {The Hidden Message, LLC Reviews}

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