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God's Bankers: A History of Money and…
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God's Bankers: A History of Money and Power at the Vatican (2015. Auflage)

von Gerald Posner

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Revealing a history of mysterious deaths, shady characters, and moral and political tensions, exposes the inner workings of the Catholic Church to trace how the Vatican evolved from an institution of faith into an extremely wealthy corporate power. --Publisher's description.
Mitglied:phreadingcentre
Titel:God's Bankers: A History of Money and Power at the Vatican
Autoren:Gerald Posner
Info:Simon & Schuster (2015), Hardcover, 752 pages
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God's Bankers: A History of Money and Power at the Vatican von Gerald Posner

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A great "non-fiction" book, in the sense that it's gripping and racy, but not particularly good history (it's a chronicle, a recording of facts, rather than an understanding of them) nor a good book. This latter is the thing's main problem: the subtitle was clearly an afterthought, and Posner has just thrown in everything he researched, rather than finding the excellent core of the book (i.e., the story of the Vatican Bank) and sticking to that. So you have to read a bunch of stuff about late 19th century popes, which is dull, and the early 2th century popes, which isn't particularly interesting, and then about Pius XII, which horse has been beaten to death, and only then do we really get to the good stuff--over a hundred pages in. Take my word for it, you can just start reading at the founding of the IOR.

After that, it's mostly great stuff, with the caveat that he really does stick a whole bunch of stuff in there. It's not clear to me why the child-abuse stuff is in there, even allowing for the "and power" part of the subtitle; not clear why the papal elections stuff is in there (though that's a bit fresher, at least).

So, basically, there's 300 pages of roaring, roiling idiocy and corruption, and the odd attempt to reel it all in. Fun fact: the popes the most likely to try to deal with corruption are those who are the least publicly popular (so, not John XXIII, not JPII), up until Francis, who might just be pulling off the double act. ( )
  stillatim | Oct 23, 2020 |
Well written and researched - thoroughly infuriating from start to finish. ( )
  tpitts6 | Sep 11, 2020 |
An exhausting but probably important look inside this insanely secretive organization. Financial histories can be tricky to write, and realistically there is no way the Catholic Church is going to allow enough of their records to become public for a comprehensive look at this topic. Still an admirable effort, but the hundreds of men and positions within the Vatican quickly started to blend together. ( )
  jonerthon | Jun 5, 2020 |
A deep dive into the murky finances of The Vatican Bank. A true fiscal saga that includes Nazis, the Mafia, ultra rich tax evaders, and corrupt clerics and politicians. Posner really had to do his homework to amass this amount of detailed information. If financial intelligence or banking regulator are your idea of dream jobs, this is definitely the book for you. ( )
  dele2451 | Apr 26, 2019 |
Important history that helps fill in some of the "devilry" that went on during and after the war through the Vatican financial system. Well documented, and a good companion read for the book "The Pope and Mussollni". ( )
  addunn3 | Mar 20, 2018 |
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Revealing a history of mysterious deaths, shady characters, and moral and political tensions, exposes the inner workings of the Catholic Church to trace how the Vatican evolved from an institution of faith into an extremely wealthy corporate power. --Publisher's description.

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