Skull & Keys - piper-and-dune - Books

Skull & Keys

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The mysterious, highly influential hidden world of Yale's secret societies is revealed in a definitive and scholarly history.

Secret societies have fundamentally shaped America's cultural and political landscapes. In ways that are expected but never explicit, the bonds made through the most elite of secret societies have won members Pulitzer Prizes, governorships, and even presidencies. At the apex of these institutions stands Yale University and its rumored 26 secret societies. Tracing a history that has intrigued and enthralled for centuries, luring the attention of such luminaries as Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, and F. Scott Fitzgerald, Skulls and Keys traces the history of Yale's societies as they set the foundation for America's future secret clubs and helped define the modern age of politics.

But there is a progressive side to Yale's secret societies that we rarely hear about, one that, in the cultural tumult of the 1960s, resulted in the election of people of color, women, and gay men, even in proportions beyond their percentages in the class. It's a side that is often overlooked in favor of sensational legends of blood oaths and toe-curling conspiracies. Dave Richards, an alum of Yale, sheds some light on the lesser known stories of Yale's secret societies. He takes us through the history from Phi Beta Kappa in the American Revolution (originally a social and drinking society) through Skull and Bones and its rivals in the 19th and 20th centuries. While there have been articles and books on some of those societies, there has never been a scholarly history of the system as a whole.

Secret societies have fundamentally shaped America's cultural and political landscapes. In ways that are expected but never explicit, the bonds made and lessons learned through the most elite of secret societies have helped make their members senators, governors, ambassadors, CIA directors, Supreme Court justices, and even presidents. At the apex of these institutions stands Yale University and its ancient six secret societies, with their modern--and even more private--"underground" rivals. Tracing a history that has intrigued and enthralled for centuries, winning the attention of such writers as Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner and F. Scott Fitzgerald, Skulls and Keys recounts the founding and growth of Yale's storied societies as they set the courses for self-education, ambition, and assimilation that have served to define our modern age.

Hardcover

Perfect gift idea for historians, or those who are just curious about the mysterious Skull and Keys secret society.

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