Fort Collins, CO (PressExposure) September 10, 2009 -- Historian John Hafnor studied the British and American book covers and various clues in advance of the September 15 release of The Lost Symbol, and offers a prediction on Dan Brownâs theme for the new blockbuster:
âThe Da Vinci Codeâs overarching premise was an Old World clash of religion and science,â Hafnor said, âwhile the fresh theme for The Lost Symbol is likely to be a uniquely American power struggle between secret societies and the experiment known as democracy.â
There seems to be no break in the bookâs September 15 embargo (even inside Random House, only a half dozen employees have been allowed to read The Lost Symbol in its entirety). Despite this, the rumor mill has Dan Brownâs protagonist Robert Langdon exploring symbols allegedly hidden in U.S. currency, such as the Masonic all-seeing eye at the top of the pyramid.
Hafnor reminds Americans that there are many hidden symbols not related to Freemasonry on the dollar bill: Hafnorâs Strange But True, America, which coincidentally or not is also set for a September 15 release, carries the following arcane tale of the âpapal markâ found on the front right-hand corner of the dollar bill:
There was a time when members of the KKK routinely tore off this corner of the dollar bill, believing the foliage is actually a representation of the popeâs mitre hat which signaled a Vatican conspiracy to take over the world! (In a YouTube interview Hafnor explains further, and graphically shows the mark. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-O7-pZpz3o)
Hafnor, an unabashed fan of Dan Brownâs books, none-the-less takes issue with statements recently issued by Lost Symbol publisher Knopf Doubleday(Random House) stating that readers can expect the new Brown book to be âinfused with history.â Said Hafnor, âThe Lost Symbol will, after all, not be history but rather a novel. If readers want a book âinfused with historyâ then why not a real best-selling history book? Iâd suggest Michael Meyerâs The Year that Changed the World, Peter Canellosâ Last Lion, or Jared Diamondâs Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies.â
If as expected The Lost Symbol is a fictionalized look at hidden motives of the Founding Fathers, Strange But True, America takes a different tack by exploring Washington D.C. weirdness based on fact. âMy mantra has always been that the truth is far stranger than anything anyone can make up. And thus, I always write for readers who prefer non-fiction.â
Here are samples of little known facts relating to the early years of the District of Columbia:
George Washington selected the location of the capital, a swampy area not far from his Mount Vernon home. He was ironically the only president to never serve in the capital. So unhealthy was the site that some early presidents conducted business in the roughshod capital only to retreat each night to sleep in on higher ground.
What made Washington so unhealthy was the malaria mosquito. The United States may have gained Florida thanks to the bite of one such mosquito. It happened in 1818, when President James Monroe was bedridden with what was probably malaria fever. A letter from General Andrew Jackson arrived at the White House, seeking presidential instruction regarding a possible invasion of Florida. After Jackson captured of Spanish Florida, Monroe claimed his permission was never granted. Jackson disagreed. This âmassive misunderstandingâ was likely due to Monroeâs malaria delirium, leaving him unaware of the letter or its contents.
The malaria-infested Potomac River was part of the morning ritual of athletic John Quincy Adams, our sixth president. Adams would typically rise early, walk to the Potomac, disrobe, and swim. One morning his clothes were stolen. The skinny-dipping president then faced the undignified prospect of walking home naked. Instead, he persuaded a passing boy to run to the White House and fetch other clothes.
Finally, a recent Sunday New York Post carried the bookâs zany tale of George Washingtonâs doctor proposing to resurrect the frozen corpse of the president. The Frankenstein-like plan was firmly vetoed by Martha Washington.
Last week, former Publisherâs Weekly editor Sara Nelson called Brown a âBook Killer.â The theory is that Brownâs readers will only troop into stores (or go online) starting Sept. 15 to buy the discounted Symbol, and they wonât buy anything else. And some critics argue that the media frenzy surrounding Symbol will drown out coverage of other books. Hafnor disagrees, stating that he believes Symbol will return Americaâs gaze to itâs early history, and will stoke adult reading appetities much as Harry Potter did for the youth reader.
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Contact: John Hafnor Lone Pine Productions 3116 WCR 38E Fort Collins, CO 80526 970-443-5211 firstname.lastname@example.org [http://www.StrangeTrueUS.com]