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God's Bankers

A History of Money and Power at the Vatican
Narrated by: Tom Parks
Length: 21 hrs and 53 mins
4 out of 5 stars (369 ratings)
Regular price: $29.99
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Publisher's Summary

A deeply reported, fast-paced exposé of the money and the cardinals-turned-financiers at the heart of the Vatican - the world's biggest, most powerful religious institution - from an acclaimed journalist with "exhaustive research techniques" (The New York Times).

From a master chronicler of legal and financial misconduct, a magnificent investigation nine years in the making, this book traces the political intrigue and inner workings of the Catholic Church. Decidedly not about faith, belief in God, or religious doctrine, this audiobook is about the church's accumulation of wealth and its byzantine entanglements with financial markets across the world. Told through 200 years of prelates, bishops, cardinals, and the Popes who oversee it all, Gerald Posner uncovers an eyebrow-raising account of money and power in perhaps the most influential organization in the history of the world.

God's Bankers has it all: a rare exposé and an astounding saga marked by poisoned business titans, murdered prosecutors, mysterious deaths of private investigators, and questionable suicides; a carnival of characters from Popes and cardinals, financiers and mobsters, kings and prime ministers; and a set of moral and political circumstances that clarify not only the church's aims and ambitions, but reflect the larger dilemmas of the world's more recent history. And Posner even looks to the future to surmise if Pope Francis can succeed where all his predecessors failed: to overcome the resistance to change in the Vatican's Machiavellian inner court and to rein in the excesses of its seemingly uncontrollable financial quagmire. Part thriller, part financial tell-all, this book shows with extraordinary precision how the Vatican has evolved from a foundation of faith to a corporation of extreme wealth and power.

©2015 Gerald Posner (P)2015 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved. Recorded by arrangement with Simon & Schuster, Inc.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The title does not do this book justice!

I love Vatican history but was skeptical of a book a out Vatican finance. Well, all fears gone. I couldn't stop listening! Epic! Great history, NOT BORING AT ALL.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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The book was really good till it wasn't.

"God's Bankers" begins with intrigue, and Mr. Posner's descriptions of the Holy See and the tiny nation (thanks to Mussolini, of all people) that surrounds it kept me captivated. For many chapters -- but then I was done.
I am certain the author did an incredible amount of research, but he could have cut quite a bit of content to keep the book on track.
World War II obviously had a lot of action, and this is the section of the book in which Mr. Posner's loose ends begin to show. He jumps from Italy (but that's a given ... the Vatican is surrounded by Italy) to Germany, then we're in Croatia, next stop is the unified Yugoslavia, and so on. The U.S., Slovenia, France, Switzerland, Austria, the U.K., Spain, Argentina and the rest of South America, Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and more are present and accounted for as well.
Narrator Parks did a great job of pronouncing names with appropriate accents of the multiple languages of these countries, but, as a listener, keeping track of who or what was where and why outweighed the pleasure of listening to the book.
Posner also made sure to note all (alleged) incidents of anti-semitism. I realize anti-semitism and World War II readily go hand-in-hand, and I don't doubt the Roman Catholic Church -- popes too -- had its fair share of anti-semites. But the repeated accusations of anti-semitism morphed into a bugaboo. When there was nothing more to say, he tossed in anti-semitism to show the pope being discussed was an extra-inappropriate chief of state of the world's only elected, non-hereditary, absolute monarchy. I'm not saying Mr. Posner was wrong when citing anti-semitism. It's just that anti-semitism became a more notable theme than the actual titular topic of the book.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Scandalous and eye opening

This account of greed and intrigue at the Vatican bank is fascinating. It gives the reader a glimpse into the stronghold the Curia has had on the Vatican for centuries. It also tells us that, like in any other microcosm of society, there are power struggles and greed among the highest levels of the Catholic Church with very unsavory results.
It gives on hope that pope Francis has made it a top priority to bring back the church to the initial teachings of humbleness and service. It remains to be seen if he can effect real lasting change

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Enthralling deep dive into Vatican finances

This book is long, but it is worth the ride. A fair and factual account of the Vatican's sordid history with money.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

A Bit Long But It's Interesting

This is a well-written Book on a complicated topic. At times it goes into too much detail and is a bit long but it's very educational. probably the best job anybody could do covering this topic.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Bad reader for a good book....

A very well researched and written book. And so it is hugely unfortunate and disappointing that it is read by someone with an incomprehensible inability to pronounce basic Italian and various European names and words - I mean At. All. A poor choice of reader.

Even setting aside pronunciation, the reader makes it sound like an episode of How Things Are Made. If it weren’t for the information, I would have bowed out. If you want to hear the wonders of someone pronouncing the same name FOUR different ways in the space of two minutes, for example, enjoy!

Unfathomable choice of reader for this important book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Brian
  • Tampa, FL
  • 08-26-17

Thorough investigation of the Vatican

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Yes. Being Catholic I was interested in this book and it gave some really good insight in to the history and banking of the Vatican. Just the general history of the Vatican was eye opening (and also disheartening). How the Vatican handled WWII is pretty unfortunate, that being an understatement.

What was one of the most memorable moments of God's Bankers?

Just learning about the more recent history of the Vatican, last 100 years

Which character – as performed by Tom Parks – was your favorite?

Cannot recall specific characters that Mr. Parks performed.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

No, not really the movie type of book, in my opinion.

Any additional comments?

Overall very good listen, gave 3 stars though because it is long......

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Politics, Politics

Revealed issues that I never imagined to had happened. Ignoring child molestation bothered me the most.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Full of fodder, only about 30 minutes of Banking

I am not a fan of the Catholic Church, but this book is full of unsupported speculation about the activities not related to the Bank

After listening, I know why. There would be no book, just a short story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Too detailed

Serious book, honest, objective..., but too long, full of names and details that are not important. Somehow you feel the author was showing off about his investigations instead of making an attractive read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful