The Empire God Built by Alec Foege
Inside Pat Robertson's Media Machine

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Synopsis

Say the name Pat Robertson to ten different people and you will get ten different reactions. To some, he's the televangelist host of The 700 Club, expounding a fundamentalist Christian philosophy. To others, he's a member in good standing of the American aristocracy, the son of a United States Senator and a descendent of the Duke of Marlborough. To savvy businesspeople, he's the CEO of International Family Entertainment, a publicly traded company that owns The Family Channel, Mary Tyler Moore Productions, and The Ice Capades. He is a global businessman with media holdings in Asia, the United Kingdom, and Africa. He is the nation's number three cable operator, behind Ted Turner and HBO. Politicians know him as the head of the 1.7 million member Christian Coalition, widely considered to be the most powerful lobbying group in the United States. Pat Robertson is all these things and more, which makes him a media mogul of astonishing wealth, power, and influence.

The Empire God Built takes you inside Pat Robertson's media machine, from the state-of-the-art television studios and telemarketing offices in Virginia Beach to the halls of Regent University to a Manhattan Christian Coalition meeting, complete with satellite feed from headquarters. Author Alec Foege pieces together the entire corporate puzzle, showing not only how Robertson assembled his empire, but how all the segments work together in pursuit of supremely ambitious goals measured by both fiscal and political bottom lines. It is a compelling examination of the power of television, technology, and big business, and how one man mastered all three to spread his message around the world.

There's more to Pat Robertson than meets the eye

"Robertson runs his personal business in as much secrecy as the law allows and as much obfuscation as he can create. But no one doubts his fortune. Overnight, he and his son Tim turned a $183,000 investment into $90 million." --William Prochnau and Laura Parker, Vanity Fair

"A lot of advertisers really aren't even aware that Pat Robertson chairs The Family Channel." --Jon Mandel, Senior Vice President, Grey Advertising

"The Family Channel is one of the most profitable television channels ever, religious or secular." --The New York Times

"[Robertson] certainly [is] one of the visionaries in the [media] business." --Fred Dressler, Vice President of Programming, Time Warner Cable

"A visionary and a smart businessman." --Ken Auletta, The New Yorker

"[Pat Robertson] is viewed as a very smart businessman, along with his son Tim. Their results speak for themselves." --Jeff Sine, Morgan Stanley

"He's a businessman. . . . The product he sells is religion." --Ed Rollins, political consultant
 

About Alec Foege

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ALEC FOEGE has written on contemporary culture and media for The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Spin, Vogue, and Variety. He is the author of Confusion Is Next: The Sonic Youth Story. Mr. Foege lives in New York City.
 
Published August 24, 2007 by Wiley. 256 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Political & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality. Non-fiction

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Foege describes Robertson as ""the archconservative equivalent of Madonna, the pseudo-outrageous pop icon."" A better description, judging from this book, might be Elmer Gantry with a satellite dish.

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