God's Bankers

  • by Gerald Posner
  • Narrated by Tom Parks
  • 21 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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.
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- Dr. JSH

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.
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- Megatron

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-17-2015
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio