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The Secret Symbols of the Dollar Bill: A Closer Look at the Hidden Magic and Meaning of the Money You Use Every Day Paperback – Nov 30 2004

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (Nov. 30 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060530456
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060530457
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.2 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 159 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #977,814 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

The Secret Symbols of the Dollar Bill: A Closer Look at the Hidden Magic and Meaning of the Money You Use Every Day

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.4 out of 5 stars 15 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could Have Been So Much More March 5 2009
By Matthew Foster - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book was good but not great. It could have been so much more. The book is made up of a series of bullet points (e.g., "The five-pointed star is a magical symbol linked with duration and time."). The bullet points are followed by some explanatory material, but there is very little, if any, text that ties all of the points together to show their context and relevance. If this book had more prose that tied it all together, it would have easily deserved 5 stars. The book also has numerous factual and typographical errors. For example, the author calls the second president of the United States "John Adam" instead of "John Adams". The author also makes numerous references to things on the dollar bill, saying "the seal on the right", when it is really the seal on the left. This book needed a good editor! Overall, I enjoyed reading this book, but feel it missed the mark in key ways.
14 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting way to pass some time June 27 2005
By Jeanne Tassotto - Published on
Format: Paperback
The author has 100 points (factoids) about the one dollar bill. He focuses on the various symbols found on this familiar item, the possible signficance of this symbols, when and why they first appeared etc. Some of this information is aleady quite well known, such as the fact that many of government officals in the past and present are Masons and that many of our nation's symbols have a basis in Masonic tradition. Other items are not as well known, such as the extensive (according to the author) use of numerology.

I found the book interesting but was a bit frustrated by the format. Instead of a regular narrative divided into chapters with subheadings the author has 100 numbered sections of one or more short paragraphs giving the book the look and feel of a rough draft.

The author also has a tendancy to state his point and then simply move on. At the end of the book I had learned several intriguing tidbits but was left wondering 'so what?'.

If you would like to find a way to spend a few hours and pickup a few factoids to toss out then get this book, a dollar bill and a ruler and enjoy. Don't be surprised though if after dazzling your friends by displaying unsuspected triangles and pointing out the repetitions of various numbers and symbols if you are not asked what is the point to all this.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting history and trivia, but confusing organization March 12 2013
By Aisling D. - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been studying this topic for years, and bought this book to see if it offered information I didn't know. It included enough fresh information that I'm happy with it.

However, reading it isn't easy. I understand the logic of how the information is organized, but this isn't an easy book to read.

The author gets top marks for thorough and interesting research. I can confirm that most (not all) of his information is accurate and historically founded.

However, the book is best for people like me who are familiar with the subject or don't mind flipping from one section of a book to another, putting the pieces together, in context.
1.0 out of 5 stars Very Inadequate. June 24 2014
By The Peripatetic Reader - Published on
Format: Paperback
Anyone wanting to gain a real understanding of the secret symbols contained in the U.S. dollar bill should look elsewhere. You won't find it here. Ninety percent of the book is filler and fluff. The author makes reference to the obvious mystical symbols of the dollar bill, but spends most of his time giving a superficial history of related symbols from ancient Egypt or elsewhere without taking the next step to tie this information to its meaning on the dollar bill. The author clearly intended to give the reader an understanding of the specific symbols; all he really gives us is unrelated pablum.

There are noticeable gaps in his explanation. The author gives a translation of the phrase which adorns the pyramid on the back of the dollar, "annuit coeptis," ("He favors our undertaking"), but does not provide a translation of the other Latin phrase, "Novus Ordo Seclorum"! It means "New Order of the Ages."

The book overinflates the symbolism of the dollar bill. The author devotes a great deal of space on the number 13 in the Great Seal. He raises issues of numerology and other possible meanings, to explain its meaning, but only once, in a fleeting reference, does he mentions the obvious: The number 13 refers to the original thirteen colonies. The "secret meaning" is as simple as that.

This book may be a good start to the mystic meaning of the dollar bill for the reader to begin their own independent research. As for a book that can be used for future reference, it is basically useless.
1.0 out of 5 stars Not very enlightening Jan. 19 2012
By Brad - Published on
Format: Paperback
Part historical documentary / commentary & part obvious design element breakdowns, this left me feeling as though the author put together a few colloqial bar stories about the dollar bill, googled the rest and cobbled it together in the least interesting thing I have read this year.