A Novel IAN SMITH
#1 New York Times Bestselling Author
Familiar to students at many elite colleges for years, with members that include Rockefellers,
Kennedys and many captains of industry and political leaders, secret societies came to popular
attention in the films like The Skulls and are even a storyline in the Netflix series Dear White
People. These intensely private organizations have been the focus of controversies in recent
years, with Harvard attempting to rid itself of the elite clubs altogether, with much unwelcome
attention from the press including the New York Times, Boston Globe, New York Post, Town &
Country, Fox News and Commentary magazine, among others.
Dr. Ian Smith, widely known as a TV personality and for his #1 New York Times bestselling
Shred diet books, among others, was himself a member of one of Harvard’s exclusive “final
clubs.” Now, he draws from his own real-life experiences in the secret societies of Harvard,
taking readers into a harrowing story set behind ivy covered walls and suffused with tightly
guarded secrets, in THE ANCIENT NINE (St. Martin’s Press, Sept. 18 th ). This is the first
time anyone has written a book that goes behind the doors of these all-male centuries-old clubs
and shared some of their long-guarded secrets and cloaked trans-generational privileges.
Spenser Collins thinks his life at Harvard will be all about basketball and pre-med; hard
workouts and grinding work in class. The friends he’s made since arriving at the storied campus,
from a very different life in urban Chicago, are a happy bonus. But Spenser is about to be
introduced to the most mysterious inner sanctum of inner sanctums: to his surprise, he’s in the
running to be “punched”—invited to join—one of Harvard’s elite final clubs.
The Delphic Club known as “the Gas” for its crest of three gas-lit flames, is one of the oldest and
most exclusive of the elite final clubs on campus, started by the legendary banking magnate JP
Morgan Jr., who himself had been deemed unworthy and denied admission to the other clubs.
As Spenser is considered for membership, he’s plunged not only into the secret world of male
privilege that the Gas represents, but also into a century-old club mystery involving the
disappearance of a student who tried breaking into the clubhouse in the 1920s. Because at the
heart of the Delphic, secured deep inside its guarded mansion club, is another secret society: a
shadowy group of powerful men known as The Ancient Nine.
Who are The Ancient Nine? And why is Spenser—along with his closest friend Dalton
Winthrop—summoned to the deathbed of Dalton’s uncle, just as Spenser is being punched for
the club? What does the lore about a missing page from one of Harvard’s most historic books
mean? And how does it connect to religion, murder, and to the King James Bible, if not to King
The Ancient Nine is both a coming of age novel and a swiftly plotted story, that lets readers into
the ultimate of closed worlds, drawn from the knowledge of these real-life institutions, with all
of its dark historical secrets and unyielding power.
# # #
IAN K. SMITH is the author of New York Times bestselling nonfiction books, including the #1
bestsellers Shred, Super Shred, and Blast the Sugar Out, as well as the novel The Blackbird
Papers. He is a graduate of Harvard, Columbia, and the University of Chicago's Pritzker School
THE ANCIENT NINE
By Ian Smith
Publication Date: September 18, 2018