Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The God Factor

The God Factor

Inside the Spiritual Lives of Public People

Cathleen Falsani

Farrar, Straus and Giroux




When religion reporter Cathleen Falsani climbed aboard Bono's tour bus, it was to interview the rock start about AIDS awareness. Instead, they plunged into a lively discussion about faith. "This is a defining moment for us," Bono said. "For the culture we live in."

Spirituality clearly now plays a key role in the United States. But what is also clear is that faith is a more complex issue than snapshots of the country convey. Jesus. Buddha. Kabbalah. Angels. This may be a nation of believers but not of one belief—of many. To shape a candid picture of modern faith, Falsani sat down with an array of people who shape our culture, and in turn, our collective consciousness. She's talked about Jesus with Anne Rice; explored "Playboy theology" with Hugh Hefner; discussed evil with crusading attorney Barry Scheck, and heaven with Senator Barack Obama. Laura Esquivel, basketball star Hakeem Olajuwon, Studs Terkel, guru Iyanla Vanzant, rockers Melissa Etheridge and Annie Lennox, economist Jeffrey Sachs, Pulitzer-winning playwright John Patrick Shanley—all opened up to her.

The resulting interviews, more than twenty-five in all, offer a fresh, occasionally controversial, and always illuminating look at the beliefs that shape our lives. THE GOD FACTOR is a book for the believers, the seekers, as well as the merely curious among us.

Included are interviews with Sherman Alexie, Bono, Dusty Baker, Sandra Bernhard, Sandra Cisneros, Billy Corgan, Kurt Elling, Laura Esquivel, Melissa Etheridge, Jonathan Safran Foer, Mike Gerson, Seamus Heaney, Hugh Hefner, Dr. Henry Lee, Annie Lennox, David Lynch, John Mahoney, Mark Morris, Mancow Muller, Senator Barack Obama, Hakeem Olajuwon, Harold Ramis, Anne Rice, Tom Robbins, Russell Simmons, Jeffrey Sachs , Barry Scheck, John Patrick Shanley , The Reverend Al Sharpton, Studs Terkel, Iyanla Vanzant, and Elie Wiesel.


The God Factor

Rock Star
I'm not a very good advertisement for God.

A.K.A. Paul David Hewson
BIRTH DATE: May 10, 1960
RAISED: Christian, Church of Ireland (Anglican)


Praise for The God Factor

“In this charming book, Falsani, columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, interviews more than 25 people of note-politicians, celebrities, writers, and musicians-about their spirituality in an effort to lift the reader's spirit while satisfying a certain guilty delight in gossip; indeed, some hitherto-unrevealed divine secrets of the famous and infamous are as tasty as their first marriages and real names. Who could have predicted that Hugh Hefner would describe himself as "a moral guy"? Or that, according to popular novelist Tom Robbins, we live in hell "because we take ourselves too seriously"? By turns surprising, dismaying, and entertaining, this work is recommended for most collections.” —Library Journal

“In an absorbing first book - The God Factor: Inside the Spiritual Lives of Public People - she takes the reader along on spirited, often-surprising interviews with more than two dozen creative artists and thought-leaders. The journey becomes engrossing because of the remarkable openness and candor she encounters among the famous, as well as the depth and variety of their beliefs... This sensitive spiritual portrait of popular culture evokes, in thought-provoking fashion, the vibrant and highly individualized nature of contemporary faith.” —Christian Science Monitor

“Cathleen Falsani is above all else, an exemplary conversationalist...She is enthusastic, well-read, articulate and open-minded. [In The God Factor,] she sweeps us right along... She has done what only great interviewers have the wisdom and patience to do. She has set the stage and dimmed the lights just so. She has invited us in to the conversation and left us with wonder, confusion, elation and grace.” —Chicago Tribune

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Cathleen Falsani

Cathleen Falsani is a columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times. She attended Wheaton College, an evangelical Christian college, and holds masters in journalism and theology. The God Factor is her first book

Cathleen Falsani

Paul Natkin

From the Publisher

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Latest on Facebook