God's Bankers: A History of Money and Power at the Vatican

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A deeply reported, New York Times bestselling exposé of the money and the clerics-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, God’s Bankers traces the political intrigue of the Catholic Church in “a meticulous work that cracks wide open the Vatican’s legendary, enabling secrecy” (Kirkus Reviews). Decidedly not about faith, belief in God, or religious doctrine, this book is about the church’s accumulation of wealth and its byzantine financial entanglements 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 one of the world’s most influential organizations.

God’s Bankers has it all: a revelatory and astounding saga marked by poisoned business titans, murdered prosecutors, and mysterious deaths written off as 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 tensions of 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. “As exciting as a mystery thriller” (Providence Journal), this book reveals with extraordinary precision how the Vatican has evolved from a foundation of faith to a corporation of extreme wealth and power.
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About the author

Gerald Posner was one of the youngest attorneys ever hired by the Wall Street law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore. He is the author of eleven books, including New York Times bestsellers, and one a finalist for the Pulitzer in History. Posner has written dozens of articles for national magazines and papers and has been a regular contributor to NBC, the History Channel, CNN, FOX News, CBS, and MSNBC. He lives in Miami Beach with his wife, author Trisha Posner.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Feb 3, 2015
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Pages
752
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ISBN
9781439109861
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Banks & Banking
History / Modern / 20th Century
Religion / Christianity / Catholic
Religion / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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"Shocking. Revelatory. Compelling. A truly authentic and riveting read. A milestone in WWII and Holocaust history." – Damien Lewis, author: The Nazi Hunters


"A harrowing, beautifully written and extremely well-researched account of a little-known aspect of the Holocaust. Patricia Posner's fine prose style grips from page one, and the horror will stay with you long after you finish the book." – Andrew Roberts, author: The Storm of War


"A gruesome story, eloquently told."  – Kirkus Reviews


"Posner avoids sensationalism and gives us a harrowing and important read." – Jewish Renaissance


"Posner's book doubles as the spellbinding story of Nazi Germany's largest industrial conglomerate, I.G. Farben . . . [and] in one important way, her book is a celebration of a rare kind of heroism. Its compelling side story offers an in-depth profile of Nazi hunter Fritz Bauer, who proved relentless in hunting down Capesius and bringing him to justice." – Dallas Morning News


"The research is impeccable . . . The prose is clear and concise . . . Good for you, Patricia Posner, for documenting a story that really is not yet over. This is a gripping read. Highly recommended." – miamiartzine

 

The Pharmacist of Auschwitz is the little known story of Victor Capesius, a Bayer pharmaceutical salesman from Romania who, at the age of 35, joined the Nazi SS in 1943 and quickly became the chief pharmacist at the largest death camp, Auschwitz.

Based in part on previously classified documents, Patricia Posner exposes Capesius’s reign of terror at the camp, his escape from justice, fueled in part by his theft of gold ripped from the mouths of corpses, and how a handful of courageous survivors and a single brave prosecutor finally brought him to trial for murder twenty years after the end of the war.

The Pharmacist of Auschwitz is much more, though, than a personal account of Capesius. It provides a spellbinding glimpse inside the devil’s pact made between the Nazis and Germany’s largest conglomerate, I.G. Farben, and its Bayer pharmaceutical subsidiary. The story is one of murder and greed with its roots in the dark heart of the Holocaust. It is told through Nazi henchmen and industrialists turned war criminals, intelligence agents and zealous prosecutors, and intrepid concentration camp survivors and Nazi hunters.

Set against a backdrop ranging from Hitler’s war to conquer Europe to the Final Solution to postwar Germany’s tormented efforts to confront its dark past, Posner shows the appalling depths to which ordinary men descend when they are unrestrained by conscience or any sense of morality. The Pharmacist of Auschwitz is a moving saga that lingers long after the final page.

The definitive inside account of the "extraordinary" (Financial Times) 1MDB scandal, "a true life thriller" (Ben Mezrich) about a "modern Gatsby" who managed to swindle over $5 billion with the aid of Goldman Sachs and others--a "must read" (Booklist) "epic tale" (Publishers Weekly) that exposes the secret nexus of elite wealth, banking, Hollywood, and politics from two award-winning Wall Street Journal reporters.

In 2009, with the dust yet to settle on the financial crisis, a baby-faced, seemingly mild-mannered Wharton grad began setting in motion a fraud of unprecedented gall and magnitude--one that would come to symbolize the next great threat to the global financial system. His name is Jho Low, a man whose behavior was so preposterous he might seem made up.

An epic true-tale of hubris and greed, Billion Dollar Whale reveals how this young social climber pulled off one of the biggest heists in history--right under the nose of the global financial industry. Federal agents who helped unravel Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme say the 1MDB affair will become the textbook case of financial fraud in the modern age--and its fallout is already being credited for taking down the prime minister of Malaysia. With his yacht and private jet reportedly seized by authorities and facing money-laundering charges in Malaysia, an Interpol red notice, and an ongoing U.S. Department of Justice Investigation, Low has become an international fugitive.
For readers of Liar's Poker, Den of Thieves, and Bad Blood, Billion Dollar Whale will become a classic, harrowing parable about finance run amok.
"Fascinating . . . Posner’s book gives a remarkable insight, from a family perspective, into the lives of many of the top Nazis and vilest criminals"                            

– Sunday Express

"A mesmerizing, blood-chilling book . . . The contrast between innocent childhood experience, and the awful understanding of that experience that came with time, is enough to make you weep"

– Los Angeles Times

"Fascinating . . . A compelling look at the conflicting emotions felt by children of prominent Nazis" 

– Cleveland Plain-Dealer

"They were the architects of terror but they were also fathers. Now, for the first time, their children speak out . . . a fascinating book"  

– Sunday Mail


Göring. Hess. Mengele. Dönitz. Names that conjure up dark memories of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. They were the architects of the Third Reich. And they were fathers. Gerald Posner convinced eleven sons and daughters of Hitler’s inner circle to break their silence. 

Hitler’s Children is a riveting and intimate look inside the families of top Nazis. Based on exclusive and in-depth interviews, Gerald Posner provides an unforgettable portrait of some children ravaged by anger and hatred while others are riven with guilt and plead for forgiveness. 

This second generation of perpetrators in Hitler’s Children struggle with their Third Reich inheritance. In grappling with memories of good and loving fathers who were later charged with war crimes, these heirs to the Nazi legacy add a fresh and important perspective to understanding the complexity of what historian, Hannah Arendt, dubbed “the banality of evil.”

Hitler’s Children is much more, however, than a series of startling family interviews. It is also a spellbinding insider’s look at some of the men whose names have become synonymous with terror.

This is a classic book about the second generation of Nazi perpetrators (the only one ever to have family interviews with Hess, Mengele, Donitz, and Göring.) No other book author or documentarian ever got those children to talk again. And Norman Frank, the eldest son of war criminal Hans Frank, also never spoke to anyone but Posner.

Hitler’s Children serves as a vivid reminder to all of us of the dangers of ignoring anti-Semitism or thinking it will go away or can't get any worse. These are the children who saw their fathers corrupted by the insidious, centuries-old hatred, and their accounts serve as a clarion warning to us today that all decent people must redouble their efforts against racial and religious hatred. 

The book, perhaps more timely today than when it was published in 1991, includes a new introduction, explaining why this book is particularly important during a time of rising international anti-Semitism.  

In 1959, twenty-nine-year-old Berry Gordy, who had already given up on his dream to be a champion boxer, borrowed eight hundred dollars from his family and started a record company. A run-down bungalow sandwiched between a funeral home and a beauty shop in a poor Detroit neighborhood served as his headquarters. The building’s entrance was adorned with a large sign that improbably boasted “Hitsville U.S.A.” The kitchen served as the control room, the garage became the two-track studio, the living room was reserved for bookkeeping, and sales were handled in the dining room. Soon word spread that any youngster with a streak of talent should visit the only record label that Detroit had seen in years. The company’s name was Motown.
Motown cuts through decades of unsubstantiated rumors and speculation to tell the true behind-the-scenes narrative of America’s most exciting musical dynasty. It follows the company and its amazing roster of stars from the tumultuous growth years in Detroit, to the drama and intrigue of Hollywood in the 1970s, to resurgence in 2002.
Set against the civil rights movement, the decay of America’s northern industrial cities, and the social upheaval of the 1960s, Motown is a tale of the incredible entrepreneurship of Berry Gordy. But it also features the moving stories of kids from Detroit’s inner-city projects who achieved remarkable success and then, in many cases, found themselves fighting the demons that so often come with stardom—drugs, jealousy, sexual indulgence, greed, and uncontrollable ambition.
Motown features an extraordinary cast of characters, including Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, and Stevie Wonder. They are presented as they lived and worked: a clan of friends, lovers, competitors, and sometimes vicious foes. Motown reveals how the hopes and dreams of each affected the lives of the others and illustrates why this singular story is a made-in-America Greek tragedy, the rise and fall of a supremely talented yet completely dysfunctional extended family.
Based on numerous original interviews and extensive documentation, Motown benefits particularly from the thousands of pages of files crammed into the basement of downtown Detroit’s Wayne County Courthouse. Those court records provide the unofficial—and hitherto largely untold—history of Motown and its stars, since almost every relationship between departing singers, songwriters, producers, and the label ended up in litigation.
From its peaks in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when Motown controlled the pop charts and its stars were sought after even by the Beatles, through the inexorable slide caused by their failure to handle their stardom, Motown is a riveting and troubling look inside a music label that provided the unofficial soundtrack to an entire generation.


From the Hardcover edition.
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