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They insist they are just a group of friends, yet they funnel millions of dollars through tax-free corporations. They claim to disdain politics, but congressmen of both parties describe them as the most influential religious organization in Washington. They say they are not Christians, but simply believers.

Behind the scenes at every National Prayer Breakfast since 1953 has been the Family, an elite network dedicated to a religion of power for the powerful. Their goal is "Jesus plus nothing." Their method is backroom diplomacy. The Family is the startling story of how their faith—part free-market fundamentalism, part imperial ambition—has come to be interwoven with the affairs of nations around the world.

Published: HarperCollins on Oct 13, 2009
ISBN: 9780061801815
List price: $11.79
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Many of the reviews for this book are either incorrectly linked or their authors mistook this book for the well-known Mario Puzo book of the same name.

This "The Family" is written by Jeff Sharlet and its subject is a modern fundamentalist Christian organization.read more
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A day without BLASPHEMY and SACRILEGE is a lot like a day without sunshine.read more
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This book had the makings of something special. The Borgias are an original mob family. Instead of owning a territory or even a city...they owned nations and religions. In the hands of Puzo? WOW!I don't know at which point Puzo stopped writing and Carol Gino picked up. I can only guess that Puzo didn't get very far and/or the editors made a terrible mess of what was left. The story has absolutely no depth, and the characters have even less. The story, if one can call this narrative a 'story', is more of an outline than anything else I can describe. One can almost imagine the bullet points preceding each paragraph. I desperately wanted the early overview chapters to be a foundation upon which a masterful "Godfather"-like story would rest. Instead, I became desperate to put the book down. And so I did.Quite simply, this book is unreadable.read more
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Reviews

Many of the reviews for this book are either incorrectly linked or their authors mistook this book for the well-known Mario Puzo book of the same name.

This "The Family" is written by Jeff Sharlet and its subject is a modern fundamentalist Christian organization.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A day without BLASPHEMY and SACRILEGE is a lot like a day without sunshine.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This book had the makings of something special. The Borgias are an original mob family. Instead of owning a territory or even a city...they owned nations and religions. In the hands of Puzo? WOW!I don't know at which point Puzo stopped writing and Carol Gino picked up. I can only guess that Puzo didn't get very far and/or the editors made a terrible mess of what was left. The story has absolutely no depth, and the characters have even less. The story, if one can call this narrative a 'story', is more of an outline than anything else I can describe. One can almost imagine the bullet points preceding each paragraph. I desperately wanted the early overview chapters to be a foundation upon which a masterful "Godfather"-like story would rest. Instead, I became desperate to put the book down. And so I did.Quite simply, this book is unreadable.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I've just read this book. I found it interesting, although some roles could have more depth. It seems accurate with the Alexander VII's known history. In the afterword written by Carol Gino, we found out that the book was written in a 20 years span. Perhaps that was the reason for a certain lack of unity in the book. After all, The Family is worth reading, in my opinion.
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One of the most infamous women of the Renaissance, Lucretia Borgia seems to have a wealth of rumors surrounding her. This book examines the Borgia clan (papa the Pope, the caniving sons who seem ill-suited to their stations, and Lucretia-the beautiful pawn in her father's political games). Puzo does a wonderful job describing the culture, the time, and the thoughts that governed the Church and Europe in those times.
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Well it seems that the Borgias were and weren’t as bad as I thought. Particularly Lucrezia who has the reputation of a vicious, ambitious poisoner. She was actually just a pawn like everyone else in Alexander’s life. It’s hard to believe that the church wielded so much power in those days. There was no Italian king, instead, each region of the country had it’s own king and was considered a Papal state. It was Alexander’s mission to unite the Papal states and keep out Spain and France. He used all his kids to do that.Unfortunately, most of the characters are only drawn on the surface and we don’t really get to see what they were like in private. What drove them to do the things they did. Was it because there was no evidence? Surely an author of historical fiction could have taken some liberties? He must have taken a few.For example, it was rumored (for real) that Lucrezia was 6 months pregnant when the College of Cardinals annulled her marriage to her first husband on the grounds of impotence. Ha! Too funny. So he weaves a tale of doting daddy not wanting his daughter to be deflowered by some stranger. He offers her to both of his sons to do it first. Ceasare is the one chosen, by Lucrezia herself in this scenario, and the two become lifelong lovers. This is why she is pregnant and it seems there are actual documents written by Alexander in which one states Ceasare is the father and the other, himself.Eventually, the death toll is unbelievably high. All in an effort to sustain the Borgia power in the face of Alexander’s eventual death (by poison). Of course, like everything, the Borgia reign is short. Alexander’s biggest rival and detractor gains the Papacy after his death and Ceasare is captured and imprisoned. After a while he is smuggled out and sponsored by a distant relative, and aristocrat in Spain. While on a mission to put down an uprising for this King or Prince or Duke or whatever, Ceasare is betrayed by the army and is killed fighting all alone.The story ends with the youngest Borgia still alive and a Cardinal under the reign of the new Pope. I think it was this Jofre who was the most evil. Because he tried to keep the appearance of good. His brother Ceasare is often blamed for the murder of their older brother Juan, but Puzo’s book puts forward the theory that Jofre did it as revenge for Juan having an affair with Jofre’s wife.
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