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A revealing, in-depth biography of Mike Pence, the most secretive and ingratiating vice president in modern history, from a reporter with remarkable access No journalist has covered Mike Pence for as long or as closely as Tom LoBianco. The seasoned political reporter was at the first campaign rally governor Pence held in his hometown of Columbus, Indiana. He was there when A revealing, in-depth biography of Mike Pence, the most secretive and ingratiating vice president in modern history, from a reporter with remarkable access No journalist has covered Mike Pence for as long or as closely as Tom LoBianco. The seasoned political reporter was at the first campaign rally governor Pence held in his hometown of Columbus, Indiana. He was there when Pence returned to Washington as Donald Trump’s vice president. Drawing on his deep ties both within the Beltway and in Indiana state politics, as well as reams of research and deep access to the vice president and his staff, LoBianco offers a revealing portrait of the devout Christian who shocked many of his closest followers when he joined the campaign and became one of the strongest champions of Donald Trump. He also explores the rumors—much debated inside the Beltway and among pundits in the media—surrounding the Vice President’s ambitions to succeed and even "overthrow" Trump.LoBianco dissects Pence’s entire political life, from his detours in the ’90s, to his rapid ascension through the first decade of the twenty-first century, to the White House, and provides an inside account of how Pence nearly crashed and burned his career while governor, only to miraculously rise from the ashes thanks to the unlikely election of Trump. He also gives a rare look inside the "shadow government" Pence has built—a conservative machine at Trump’s call for now, but one that could just as easily step in if Trump is removed from office.Piety & Power cuts to the core of the nation’s most enigmatic politician, and unearths new, important, and fascinating anecdotes about Pence’s faith, his marriage to Karen Pence, his bizarre, obsequious relationship with Trump, his deeply buried personality, his ascent to power under John Boehner, and his presidential aspirations and plans for America’s future.From the explosive revelations of the Russia investigation to the sea change affecting the Republican party and its direction under Trump, it is vital that Americans know more about the man who could ascend to the Oval Office. Piety & Power provides insights and answers as it sheds light on this ambitious Midwestern politician, his past, and his possible future.


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A revealing, in-depth biography of Mike Pence, the most secretive and ingratiating vice president in modern history, from a reporter with remarkable access No journalist has covered Mike Pence for as long or as closely as Tom LoBianco. The seasoned political reporter was at the first campaign rally governor Pence held in his hometown of Columbus, Indiana. He was there when A revealing, in-depth biography of Mike Pence, the most secretive and ingratiating vice president in modern history, from a reporter with remarkable access No journalist has covered Mike Pence for as long or as closely as Tom LoBianco. The seasoned political reporter was at the first campaign rally governor Pence held in his hometown of Columbus, Indiana. He was there when Pence returned to Washington as Donald Trump’s vice president. Drawing on his deep ties both within the Beltway and in Indiana state politics, as well as reams of research and deep access to the vice president and his staff, LoBianco offers a revealing portrait of the devout Christian who shocked many of his closest followers when he joined the campaign and became one of the strongest champions of Donald Trump. He also explores the rumors—much debated inside the Beltway and among pundits in the media—surrounding the Vice President’s ambitions to succeed and even "overthrow" Trump.LoBianco dissects Pence’s entire political life, from his detours in the ’90s, to his rapid ascension through the first decade of the twenty-first century, to the White House, and provides an inside account of how Pence nearly crashed and burned his career while governor, only to miraculously rise from the ashes thanks to the unlikely election of Trump. He also gives a rare look inside the "shadow government" Pence has built—a conservative machine at Trump’s call for now, but one that could just as easily step in if Trump is removed from office.Piety & Power cuts to the core of the nation’s most enigmatic politician, and unearths new, important, and fascinating anecdotes about Pence’s faith, his marriage to Karen Pence, his bizarre, obsequious relationship with Trump, his deeply buried personality, his ascent to power under John Boehner, and his presidential aspirations and plans for America’s future.From the explosive revelations of the Russia investigation to the sea change affecting the Republican party and its direction under Trump, it is vital that Americans know more about the man who could ascend to the Oval Office. Piety & Power provides insights and answers as it sheds light on this ambitious Midwestern politician, his past, and his possible future.

30 review for Piety & Power: Mike Pence and the Taking of the White House

  1. 4 out of 5

    John

    Want to make of clear at the outset that I dislike Mike Pence. Heading into the book, I felt he was a hypocrite who would say anything to become president. The book confirmed this, but is not a hatchet job, nothing about it is "gotcha!" material. First part was slightly tedious, though necessary to give a background. What stood out for me was the desperation to acquire money, as portrayed in his failed Congressional bid where he cleverly incorporated the campaign so that he could legally, if not Want to make of clear at the outset that I dislike Mike Pence. Heading into the book, I felt he was a hypocrite who would say anything to become president. The book confirmed this, but is not a hatchet job, nothing about it is "gotcha!" material. First part was slightly tedious, though necessary to give a background. What stood out for me was the desperation to acquire money, as portrayed in his failed Congressional bid where he cleverly incorporated the campaign so that he could legally, if not ethically, divert funds to himself to pay his personal bills. Donors weren't happy when they found out, but he replied that as a full-time candidate, he "deserved" a salary. This issue resurfaces later when money is diverted from the inauguration funds to the vice president's discretion, after Karen complains that they don't have enough money to live a DC lifestyle. Ask for his relationship with Trump, the best way I could put it is that I came away feeling it's a classic love-hate deal. If Trump is somehow taken down, I would fully expect him to lash out at Pence on the way out. Conversely, if I were Trump I would not absolutely count on any sort of a pardon from Pence as a guarantee. I inferred that the author's point was that perhaps Pence would mellow a bit in his hardcore social stands to adapt to current popular views. I'm not so sure of this myself. It was mentioned that in considering him for vice president, the Trump campaign was more concerned about his wife. It's fairly clear that if he were president, she would be calling the shots to at least some extent. Ugh!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Al

    Who is Mike Pence? Liberals may wonder if he is a shady Dick Cheney type character running the show behind the scenes. Readers of Wolff's Fire and Fury may wonder if Pence fits in at all, since he was a non-character in the book about Bannon, JarVanka, and the GOP's influence on Trump. The answer is he's probably just a regular Vice President. This would be a nice companion piece to Fire and Fury if you were so inclined. Like that book, it is very readable, and can be read quickly. The benefit to Who is Mike Pence? Liberals may wonder if he is a shady Dick Cheney type character running the show behind the scenes. Readers of Wolff's Fire and Fury may wonder if Pence fits in at all, since he was a non-character in the book about Bannon, JarVanka, and the GOP's influence on Trump. The answer is he's probably just a regular Vice President. This would be a nice companion piece to Fire and Fury if you were so inclined. Like that book, it is very readable, and can be read quickly. The benefit to this book is that LoBianco has been following Pence for years, and it also doesn't suffer from being a rush publishing job like Wolff's. The two words in the title define Pence. I get from LoBianco that Pence's religious conviction is real. While it seems the most vocal about their religious beliefs almost certainly seem the most to be caught in scandal, Pence seems legit. Pence may even be likeable. One wonders if he had taken a different route that he might grow into the role of beloved political icon like Bob Dole. The other part is as important, if not overriding. Pence is ambitious, and his ultimate goal is the White House. I think Pence at times, chose the path of inaction to not chance risking that road. In some ways, I think his reputation as a homophobe is a direct result of him trying to be all things to all people, and what ensued from that decision. Pence is as unlikely as a success story (surely Mitch Daniels had better chances) but he's played it well. Surely, some his choices that seem like he was hanging back, served him better than appearing ambitious. Indeed, the highpoint is when Pence is named VP- sort of the ultimate "I am not going to do anything one way or the other and Let God handle it". Although I don't know everyone will be excited to read about Pence. This is a solid book. It is very readable, and though Conservatives will be bound to attack it, it is quite evenhanded. For politicos, the inside look at Indiana politics is as good as it gets for books like this. There are plenty of insightful (and sometimes early) cameos like Donald Trump, Newt Gingrich, Chris Christie, Rush Limbaugh, John Boehner and many more. After the excitement of the Veepstakes, Pence might be the most important running mate selection in some time. As the book wraps up, the two sides of Pence come into direct competition. Even then, Pence must not rock the boat to jeopardize what may be next for him. It may be depressing to Dems and NeverTrumpers, but that seems to be where he has landed, and if you have been paying attention the whole time, not surprising. Recommended to all readers of political non-fiction.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jill Meyer

    As a long-time reader of political biographies, I've always found the best, most honest ones, tend to be written by a third person, and not the politician or someone in his orbit. Usually, print and media people are honest enough to write a fair biography. And so it is with AP journalist Tom Lobianco and his new biography, "Piety and Power:Mike Pence and the Taking of the White House". I am not a fan of our Vice-President, but in these weird times of a coming impeachment of Donald Trump and, aft As a long-time reader of political biographies, I've always found the best, most honest ones, tend to be written by a third person, and not the politician or someone in his orbit. Usually, print and media people are honest enough to write a fair biography. And so it is with AP journalist Tom Lobianco and his new biography, "Piety and Power:Mike Pence and the Taking of the White House". I am not a fan of our Vice-President, but in these weird times of a coming impeachment of Donald Trump and, after that, an election in 2020, I wanted to know more about Mike Pence. Tom Lobianco has done a fine job looking at Pence's background. As Pence has always contended, he was born and raised in the front of a cornfield. A cornfield in Columbus, Indiana, a small town about 60 miles south of Indianapolis. Columbus is no sleepy little burg; it is the home of some the best examples of mid-20th century architecture in the country. The town is the home of the Cummins, Inc, which was run by town father, J Irwin Miller. Miller was a big fan of "modern" architecture and paid famous architects to come to his small town and design public buildings. Miller paid the architects' fees, and the town got splendid buildings to pray in, go to school in, and, in one case, spend jail time in. I mention this because for a small town, Columbus, Indiana is a pretty sophisticated place. (I've visited twice to see the buildings.) Mike Pence, as seen by Lobiance, is an enigma. He's had trouble combing his religious side with his political one. How ambitious can you be serving God, while also serving the State? Pence bounced between politics and religion for many years, always trying to find a way to fit the two together. He had a difficult time when they clashed as they did when he was Governor of Indiana and he had to deal with the anti-LGBTQ "Religious Freedom Restoration Act". Lobianco spends a bit of his book explaining the RFRA and how it affected Pence's only term as governor. Is Mike Pence smart? Is Mike Pence dumb? He was referred to in Indianapolis as "Mike Dence", but that could, possibly, anyway, have been a sign of affection for the man. Two things that are true is that he's cunning in a kind of feral way, AND that Karen Pence is the power behind the throne. A third is that he's had presidential ambitions since he was a young man. However, working in the vagaries of the current White House may have dulled them. So where, in the last week of September, 2019, do we stand as a country with the politicians currently in power? Who knows and a book review is not the place to talk about politics, even if the book in question is a political biography. But if you're curious about Mike Pence, please read Tom Lobrianco's biography. It's very well written.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lynn

    Everybody with any interest in politics should read this book and nobody will like it If you are a Trump fan, you will hate how the author condenses all his faults into 310 pages, showing just how mcuh you haver to overlook to think he isn[t the worst person to ever hold this office. If you think he is the worst person to hold the office (as I do) you will have to suck down all his awfulness in one quick drink while realizing that it could be worse. Mike Pence really wants to be President, and whi Everybody with any interest in politics should read this book and nobody will like it If you are a Trump fan, you will hate how the author condenses all his faults into 310 pages, showing just how mcuh you haver to overlook to think he isn[t the worst person to ever hold this office. If you think he is the worst person to hold the office (as I do) you will have to suck down all his awfulness in one quick drink while realizing that it could be worse. Mike Pence really wants to be President, and while Trump thinks he is God, Pence thinks he is doing God's work as it is defined by the worst of the Tea Party and the Radical Right Evangelicals. This book left me praying (literally) that the impeachment inquiry will leave Team Trump terribly damaged but the Senate will still leave them in place so we can sweep the whole ugly mess out on 1/20/21.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Linda Hagedorn

    I love to read biographies but this one makes me sad. Politicians are not people I readily trust so I do begin with preconceived attitudes. Though Pence's early political career shows moral misjudgment and misuse of money, I somehow view a man who has gone through some positive spiritual changes but is now still too ambitious and stretches the bounds of Christ-like acceptance. It is interesting what power will lead one to idly accept. I'll have to wait and see how this plays out and hope I find I love to read biographies but this one makes me sad. Politicians are not people I readily trust so I do begin with preconceived attitudes. Though Pence's early political career shows moral misjudgment and misuse of money, I somehow view a man who has gone through some positive spiritual changes but is now still too ambitious and stretches the bounds of Christ-like acceptance. It is interesting what power will lead one to idly accept. I'll have to wait and see how this plays out and hope I find I'm wrong.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Liz Norell

    While this book and its author deserve kudos for deep reporting on Pence's history, the book itself read slowly and wasn't as illuminating as I'd hoped. Ultimately, Lobianco seems to conclude that nobody really knows Mike Pence.... not even the man himself. That's both sad and frustrating. I'm not sorry I read this book, but I wouldn't recommend it given how many far more interesting and useful books there are to spend your time on instead.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Douglass Gaking

    This biography, written by a journalist who has covered Mike Pence since he was running for office in Indiana, offers details and perspectives from Pence’s political career (so far). LoBianco discusses how Pence’s wife Karen, his evangelical Christianity, and his political ambition have shaped his policies, his campaigns, and his behavior in various situations. There are no bombshells here, but there are behind-the-scenes looks at many events that offer a new perspective about how Pence has tried This biography, written by a journalist who has covered Mike Pence since he was running for office in Indiana, offers details and perspectives from Pence’s political career (so far). LoBianco discusses how Pence’s wife Karen, his evangelical Christianity, and his political ambition have shaped his policies, his campaigns, and his behavior in various situations. There are no bombshells here, but there are behind-the-scenes looks at many events that offer a new perspective about how Pence has tried to manipulate or obfuscate journalists and how lesser known factors played a role in various events and scandals. Pence often states, “I’m a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican–in that order.” After reading this book, I would say that his behavior is influenced by his ambition, his ego, and the people with whom he surrounds himself–in that order. This man is a heartbeat–or a Senate trial verdict–away from the Presidency, so it is worth reading this book to get a better understanding of how the man got where he is and what he might do if he becomes President.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I suppose it's not easy to write an interesting book about The Most Boring Man in the World, but boy does Tom Lobianco try. He manages to provide a plausible explanation as to how someone can be both ignorant and borderline evil while still maintaining the dubious honor of being the human equivalent of a mayonnaise sandwich. I don't think there is any universe where a book about Mike Pence can reasonably be considered "enjoyable" but I think this is as close as we're ever going to get. I know so I suppose it's not easy to write an interesting book about The Most Boring Man in the World, but boy does Tom Lobianco try. He manages to provide a plausible explanation as to how someone can be both ignorant and borderline evil while still maintaining the dubious honor of being the human equivalent of a mayonnaise sandwich. I don't think there is any universe where a book about Mike Pence can reasonably be considered "enjoyable" but I think this is as close as we're ever going to get. I know someone had to write this book so I appreciate that the author tried to make it as palatable as he could. That by itself deserves four stars.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Charles Wagner

    Turn right for Jesus “One thing hadn’t changed throughout Pence’s long political career, his strict religious devotion.” P. 13., although the author claims our subject seeks first political power. Young Mike was a hard driven Catholic boy with big ambitions, but at Hanover College he decided to be Christian and was born again. The back story of the power wielded by Jerry Falwell, Billy Graham, and Bob Jones and their heirs, and the right wing moneyed power brokers which have been driving our go Turn right for Jesus “One thing hadn’t changed throughout Pence’s long political career, his strict religious devotion.” P. 13., although the author claims our subject seeks first political power. Young Mike was a hard driven Catholic boy with big ambitions, but at Hanover College he decided to be Christian and was born again. The back story of the power wielded by Jerry Falwell, Billy Graham, and Bob Jones and their heirs, and the right wing moneyed power brokers which have been driving our government to self-destruction is both amazing and frightening. That alone is worth the price of the book. Imagine the orgasmic desire for an all Jewish Israel and the second coming of Jesus which so drives that horde! God/Jesus was number one in Mike and Karen’s lives. Apparently, God/Jesus is also number one in winning national politics. From 1991 to 1994, Pence was president of the Indiana Policy Review Foundation where he received health insurance as a benefit, instead of buying it on the free market as libertarians demand. His wife worked as an art teacher in three elementary schools: John Strange, Acton Elementary, and Fall Creek Elementary which were public with socialist health insurance. She also worked at a private school Orchard School which possibly also had health insurance. Shortly, after taking his position at IPRF, God finally allowed Karen to get pregnant, unless the author was being sarcastic. And, then another three. In 1991, Pence admitted negative campaigning was wrong. In 2016, he was elected with the greatest negative campaigner America was yet to see. By 2000 he was Christian right, economically conservative, pro-free trade, and anti-environmental regulations. (p. 117) His stance against abortion bought him plenty of votes. 9/11 allowed the Christians to blame the attack on lesbians, abortionists, and the ACLU to name a few. Pence backed Bush to war on Iraq even though most of the terrorist were Saudi. He balked at Bush’s attempt to beef up Medicare, but climbed on No Child Left Behind designed to destroy public education, and spoke against same sex marriage. In Indiana, Pence promised to fight Obamacare and environmental regulations. Once elected governor, Pence found some really juicy scoops on his predecessor Mitch Daniels. And, had to pay his dues to the Koch brothers... Daniels “religious freedom” act caused trouble and he let it go, although he did not wish to. Damn those queer marriages anyhow. After finally being endorsed the vice presidential nominee, the first thing Pence did was thank God. Then, he began attempting to dismantle the Affordable Care act, even though that action would bankrupt many rural Indiana hospitals. Pence’s failure in the matter kept him from a major role in the “tax cut” legislation. Aligning himself with the Donald, the author said Pence began seeing himself as the old testament Daniels who became Nebuchadnezzar’s chief advisor before the kingdom fell under a wrathful god or some other old testament “hero” who saved the day for the Jewish people. The religious right had no qualms about selling out to Trump to gain their own objectives. Since the publication of this title, Karen Pence has begun campaigning for Trump and Trump appointed Pence to head the COVID-19 task force, both events could be topics for a panel discussion Major players in no particular order: Brian Bosma, Mitch Daniels, the religious right, Tony Bennet, Bill Gates, Betsy DeVoss, Tea Party, Donald Trump (The modern day Cyrus), Eric Holcomb, Vladimir Putin, John Hagee, Robert Jeffress, Billy Graham.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    I give this an "I liked it" rating because I learned quite a bit about the current VPOTS and SLOTUS - Mike and Karen Pence. Karen is definitely the one with the power in this marriage. Pence is a fence rider and will blend in with the background or furniture. I don't see where he has good leadership skills and if he does get the job as POTUS rather though removal, resignation, or election we would continue to see West Wing chaos. However, POTUS is the job he has always wanted so maybe his leader I give this an "I liked it" rating because I learned quite a bit about the current VPOTS and SLOTUS - Mike and Karen Pence. Karen is definitely the one with the power in this marriage. Pence is a fence rider and will blend in with the background or furniture. I don't see where he has good leadership skills and if he does get the job as POTUS rather though removal, resignation, or election we would continue to see West Wing chaos. However, POTUS is the job he has always wanted so maybe his leadership skills he lacked as Governor would arise, or he in it for the ceremony. The Pences have been tight on funds but then there has been only a few years that Mike has held down a non-elected job. Karen also stopped teaching to be a stay at home mother, Indiana's First Lady, and SLOTUS. The Pences always seem to have to pray over decisions, yet, somehow what they want and the answer to their prayers seem to go in the same direction. I wish that Lobianco had gone more into Pences religious connections such as with Ambassador Brownback and more of the evangelical conservatives. Readers to get a lot of insight to Pence and even this Administration. The subject matter is boring and I feel asleep many times reading it.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Writemoves

    I know too much about Donald Trump but very little about Mike Pence. Based on this book, I wish I did not know much about Mike Pence at all. In his early political days, he sounds like bit of a flip flopper. His religious beliefs seem to dictate how he thinks about politics, the role of government, and cultural values. Why Pence's religious beliefs seem to present him with little pause about the behavior, actions and policies of his boss is a bit mysterious. His wife Karen appears to wear the pa I know too much about Donald Trump but very little about Mike Pence. Based on this book, I wish I did not know much about Mike Pence at all. In his early political days, he sounds like bit of a flip flopper. His religious beliefs seem to dictate how he thinks about politics, the role of government, and cultural values. Why Pence's religious beliefs seem to present him with little pause about the behavior, actions and policies of his boss is a bit mysterious. His wife Karen appears to wear the pants in the family and maybe an examination of her life may be more illuminating than any review of Pence’s role as a Congressman and Governor. This is a well written book. The author does not seem to have an axe to grind. Pence is a very ambitious politician and with his religious beliefs aside, acts like a typical Republican. Pence is the Ed McMahon to Trump’s Johnny Carson. Like Carson, Trump does not view Pence as any real danger to usurp his power.

  12. 4 out of 5

    The Sandstress

    Disappointed in this book I heard the author on CSpan and based on his interview I thought the book would be more balanced. The author's lack of knowledge about the Bible is clearly evidenced by his belief that Evangelicals think that they can "usher in the second coming of Christ". I also think that his portrayal of Mike Pence being conniving is based on his own personal disdain for followers of Jesus or his disdain for Donald Trump or his disdain for the "deplorable voters" who voted for him. D Disappointed in this book I heard the author on CSpan and based on his interview I thought the book would be more balanced. The author's lack of knowledge about the Bible is clearly evidenced by his belief that Evangelicals think that they can "usher in the second coming of Christ". I also think that his portrayal of Mike Pence being conniving is based on his own personal disdain for followers of Jesus or his disdain for Donald Trump or his disdain for the "deplorable voters" who voted for him. Donald Trump is not perfect, but the average American can see what is happening. He is exposing how corrupt the press is, how corrupt the politics of the country is, and how corrupt the government agencies and the people who work in upper levels of them are. I never thought the Deep State was real until now.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Regan

    Lobianco does a solid interview on the different talk shows and writes in a clear style. He gives readers a well told history of Pence and his family and how he got where he is today. Pence comes across as having one goal -- to be President and every step in his life has been about getting there. I've said from the beginning that the policies and orders given by Trump sounded more like Pence would want than what Trump would want. That Pence was the man behind the throne. LoBianco's book certainl Lobianco does a solid interview on the different talk shows and writes in a clear style. He gives readers a well told history of Pence and his family and how he got where he is today. Pence comes across as having one goal -- to be President and every step in his life has been about getting there. I've said from the beginning that the policies and orders given by Trump sounded more like Pence would want than what Trump would want. That Pence was the man behind the throne. LoBianco's book certainly gives that impression as well. Not a jaw dropper of a book, but more like a steady telling of the current vice president's history and how he has plotted and planned to become president.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Hasan

    As somebody who has followed Mike Pence from a distance through his time in the House, the Governor's mansion in India and now Vice President, I always Pence was a fairly boring character. And he still might be. But this book by Lobianco paints an interesting portrait of a man driven by faith, a love for politics but most of all ambition. People thought Hillary Clinton was ambitious and she was. And most successful politicians who reach the pinnacles of power are ambitious. But Pence has hopped, As somebody who has followed Mike Pence from a distance through his time in the House, the Governor's mansion in India and now Vice President, I always Pence was a fairly boring character. And he still might be. But this book by Lobianco paints an interesting portrait of a man driven by faith, a love for politics but most of all ambition. People thought Hillary Clinton was ambitious and she was. And most successful politicians who reach the pinnacles of power are ambitious. But Pence has hopped, skipped and jumped all over the place to move up the political ladder. He's VP and could promise his party a calm top-of-the-ticket option in 2020 as they fight to keep the White House. Will they dump Trump? That's the dance Pence is involved with. Really good book with impeccable timing.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ben Deutsch

    I picked Piety and Power up after getting a recommendation from a close friend who I worked on Indiana campaigns with. The book has a unique appeal for Hoosiers, and especially anyone who worked in Hoosier politics, as it relives recent political battles in the state. The book did not change my opinion about Mike Pence. He’s a man torn between his faith and ambition but it’s hard to walk away without the feeling that his ambition is winning out. The book reveals too many moments where his faith I picked Piety and Power up after getting a recommendation from a close friend who I worked on Indiana campaigns with. The book has a unique appeal for Hoosiers, and especially anyone who worked in Hoosier politics, as it relives recent political battles in the state. The book did not change my opinion about Mike Pence. He’s a man torn between his faith and ambition but it’s hard to walk away without the feeling that his ambition is winning out. The book reveals too many moments where his faith guides him to the politically convenient decision (most notoriously, his decision to join Trump’s ticket in 2016). LoBianco’s writing is the kind I look for in political reads — straight reporting, with little editorializing. Piety and Power is a good read for any follower of politics who is looking to learn more about Pence’s journey and how his ideology (or lack thereof) might shape his political future.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sam Dye

    Mike Pence the slick debater and former radio talk show notable from Indiana makes it to the bigs even while committing some mistakes along the way. Tom Lobianco did an excellent job of giving me more insight to this man. I kept asking myself "why am I reading about him?", but my answer was I wanted to know more and the book is well written. I did want to understand the religious right and my knowledge of that has improved to the point I am more than ever dedicated to the opinion that religion h Mike Pence the slick debater and former radio talk show notable from Indiana makes it to the bigs even while committing some mistakes along the way. Tom Lobianco did an excellent job of giving me more insight to this man. I kept asking myself "why am I reading about him?", but my answer was I wanted to know more and the book is well written. I did want to understand the religious right and my knowledge of that has improved to the point I am more than ever dedicated to the opinion that religion has no place in our politics!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Silliman

    Found this book really disappointing. It didn't answer the basic question, who is Mike Pence? I want to know how he makes decisions, how he balances his ambition and his religious commitments, what role his wife plays in the process? Instead, the book offers a recount of the RFRA controversy and a blow-by-blow narrative about how Pence was chosen to be VP. That's interesting, but leaves a lot unanswered.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    Piety & Power contains biographical information but is more about Mike Pence’s ascension through the political world to his current role as Vice President of the United States of America. Pence’s early achievement in the field of debate and his religious evolution are examined as foundations of his political rise. Tom LoBianco has laid the groundwork for understanding Mike Pence if he attains the White House in either 2020 or 2024. Piety & Power contains biographical information but is more about Mike Pence’s ascension through the political world to his current role as Vice President of the United States of America. Pence’s early achievement in the field of debate and his religious evolution are examined as foundations of his political rise. Tom LoBianco has laid the groundwork for understanding Mike Pence if he attains the White House in either 2020 or 2024.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Laurent Reinhardt

    Read this on a whim after randomly finding it at my neighborhood library. Not a Pence fan to begin with and less so now. The book reinforced my perceptions that power is what matters most to him and little in his Indiana political career seemed to reflect his self-professed Christian values. Maybe a sphinx without a riddle. Despite all that, I found the author to more transparently anti-Pence than would be called for in this type of book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sieglinde

    Very well written but you may finish the book and still realize that you still don’t know Michael Pence. You will find that Pence has made so many compromises that he is not a real person anymore. Once a man of strong faith he supports a President who would not know compassion if Kuan Yin walked up and slapped him. You will find that he is not corrupt as far as money is involved. It can be a cringeworthy read at times as you watch an essentially good man be drawn to the dark side.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Csparrenberger

    Although I live in Indiana, I did not know much about Mike Pence. I really enjoyed this book and thought it was very well written and included many many interesting facts. I would recommend this to anyone who is interested in learning more about our current vice president. I especially enjoyed the more current chapters dealing with his Vice Presidency and his relationship with Donald Trump.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Michael Crouch

    The author is obviously a liberal. He is critical of the Vice President's faith especially in regards to the sin of sodomy being popularized. Does not understand what the Bible teaches on end times in referring to our recognition of Jerusalem belonging to Israel when we moved our embassy there in 2018.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Noel Kelly

    Fascinating insight into the life of a spineless opportunist shrouded in a cloud of self-righteousness. The first half of the book is very balanced with lots of quotations from the Bible. Enter Trump and hypocrisy rears its very ugly head. When things get really bad, hide!

  24. 4 out of 5

    PWRL

    A

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lawanda

    Pretty much negates his statement that he is a Christian, a conservative and a Republican in that order. Inserting the word “ambitious” would make the statement more accurate.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Neil McGee

    I enj this informative backstory on the Vice president who I had never heard of before being outside of Indiana . Anything is possible so I never predict the future.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Renata Janney

    Gave up about 2/3 through. Some interesting factoids but didn’t hold my interest through long parts about Indiana state politics. If politics is your thing, you might like it more.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Steve Peifer

    Lightweight sells his soul to become VP. As depressing and soul crushing as it sounds, but it is well written.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Randall Coyne

    A balanced account of our oleaginous Vice President. A case study of how ambition and lust for power can cause the righteous to lose their souls.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mindy Greiling

    This is a nicely written page turner that teaches us a lot about Mike Pence. I've read books about Trump, but I learned new things about him as well. All in all a fascinating, balanced read.

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