Gretchen Hohmeyer's Reviews > The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power

The Family by Jeff Sharlet
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bookshelves: american-presidents-challenge

I'm going back and forth between 3-4 stars on this one, so I'll leave it with this for now. I watched the documentary on Netflix prior to reading this book, and I'm always fascinated by how the two mediums translate the same information in different ways. If you are picking up this book because of the documentary, the key things are that Sharlet's vivid prose (on display in the documentary) carries through throughout the book. When describing his personal experiences at Ivanwald, which holds less space in this book than I thought it would, it works well. In some cases after that, it adds flavor but in others I wish he would drop the pithy description for a better understanding of the actual facts. The middle also seemed to drag with a lot of information that, while adding further context to the depth and breadth of the Family and their form of religion, went on far too long. The last chapter before the conclusion is about religion and remaking history, which I was thrilled by, but then the conclusion came to an end abruptly. All in all, I'm glad I read this for context, but unless you want a deep dive into the details, the documentary (also updated with more recent events than this book is) hits most of the major points just fine.

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Reading Progress

June 27, 2022 – Started Reading
June 27, 2022 – Shelved
June 29, 2022 – Shelved as: american-presidents-challenge
July 18, 2022 – Finished Reading

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