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Download The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power Audiobook, by Jeff Sharlet Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,480 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jeff Sharlet Narrator: Jeremy Guskin Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2009 ISBN: 9780061977299
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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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Of all the important studies of the American right, The Family is undoubtedly the most eloquent. It is also quite possible the most terrifying.” 

    Thomas Frank, New York Times bestselling author of What’s The Matter With Kansas

  • “A remarkable accomplishment in the annuals of writing about religion.” 

    Rick Perlstein, New York Times bestselling author of Nixionland

  • “Sharlet has done extensive research, and his through account of The Family’s life and times is a chilling exposé.” 

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Sharlet has unearthed an occurrence that is all the more startling for its being hidden in plain view.” 

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Aaron | 2/1/2014

    " Fascinating and scary all at once. The halls of power are infested with lunatics. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jeremy | 1/26/2014

    " Parts of this were very interesting. Other parts--not so much. Sort of dragged on a bit at times. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leanne | 1/26/2014

    " An excellent look at fundamentalism's impact on American politics. It does get very deep so I don't recommend this as a good bedtime read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joanne | 1/17/2014

    " This is a frightening and timely tale. It's wordy at times, but I let that go because the content is so important. These people aren't going away, and their power is growing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Glenn | 1/16/2014

    " Disturbing, well-documented. Plays into my own fear about those who wish for power and will play onf fundamentsl fears to enhance or get it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Patricia | 1/12/2014

    " Although I liked the first 50 pages of The Family, the rest was a whirl-wind tour written with the haste of an author who truly enjoys writing with flair (and fluff). He should have been more selective, and less verbose, and he should have edited those long periodic sentences that ran on and on for "days." He seemed to lose his focus and dwell instead on minutiae (detail after detail), making me wonder how it all tied into his main point. The book is unsteady and poorly edited. I am unaccustomed to reading sentences followed by succession of fragments and other kinds of loosely connected "afterthoughts." I got as far as page 146 and had to start skimming. Then I had to stop reading it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sequoia | 1/3/2014

    " Scary the process of constructed megalomaniacs! Don't ignore your rights or these hypocrites will surely make sure they are gone forever. While reading this book, I kept thinking about the theme and characters of Margaret Atwood's, The Handmaid's Tale. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Adrian | 12/9/2013

    " Let's face it, religious sects when combined with a lust for power are an extremely scary thing, and this book paints a vivid picture of just such a thread running through American politics. An ably written account of someone who was within the ranks of "The Family" and saw how they operate. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cristobal | 12/7/2013

    " fascinating, disturbing and above all else . . . scary... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sherri | 10/19/2013

    " This is the most frightening book I have read because it is true and it is about current and prominent political activists. They use religion to manipulate and control government and the public is unaware. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eileen | 9/26/2013

    " I think I have to read this again to solidify my opinions on it. Short review: it's good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gregory Sotir | 6/23/2013

    " An important work researching how far intolerant fundamentalist religious nuts have penetrated our government. The section on American evangelists in Africa was eye-opening. I look forward to more from Sharlet. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sbberns | 12/26/2012

    " Interesting overview and history of the fundamentalist movement "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lalena Parkhurst | 12/21/2012

    " Lot's of really good history and reporting. For me there were some dull streaks in the book. Also at times I thought Sharlet was coming from an overly paranoid perspective, but in the end I think he came out pretty balanced. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Don | 1/23/2012

    " I enjoyed most of the book but was suprised by the consolilatory tone that the last couple of chapters had. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brett Powers | 1/11/2012

    " If you're ever curious about why fundamentalist Christianity seems to have gone off the rails of the crazy train, this is a great place to start your research. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Sidney | 8/31/2011

    " Not at ALL what I expected. Don't even bother checking it out. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David | 3/9/2011

    " Remarkable, true story of how the US government has been successfully infiltrated by fundamentalist Christians of a certain ilk... namely, achieving the merger of corporation with government under the guise of Christianity "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ann | 1/9/2011

    " I say I liked it, but that's just because it was fascinating. I also didn't finish it, because it was upsetting. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Don | 10/26/2010

    " I enjoyed most of the book but was suprised by the consolilatory tone that the last couple of chapters had. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim | 10/25/2010

    " Somewhat formally and ponderously written, but fascinating and frightening story. I just wish it was fiction. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David | 10/16/2010

    " Scary as hell. If you have any doubts about the role of religion in politics, pick up The Family. Perfect Halloween read if it weren't all too damned true. Scary times, my friends, and after reading this, I'm afraid not only for myself and family but for most every individual on the planet. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bradleybee | 9/23/2010

    " Required reading if you're concerned about the baptist genocide campagins on the African continent. "

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About the Author
Author Jeff Sharlet

Jeff Sharlet is a visiting research scholar at New York University's Center for Religion and Media. He is a contributing editor for Harper's and Rolling Stone, the coauthor, with Peter Manseau, of Killing the Buddha, and the editor of TheRevealer.org. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.