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Jesus My Father The Cia And Me [Paperback]

Ian Cron
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
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Paperback, June 7 2011 CDN $14.39  
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Book Description

June 7 2011
  “When I first discovered the grainy picture in my mother’s desk—me as a towheaded two year old sitting in what I remember was a salmon-orange-stained lifeboat—I was overwhelmed by the feeling that the boy in the boat was not waving and laughing at the person snapping the photo as much as he was frantically trying to get the attention of the man I am today. The boy was beckoning me to join him on a voyage through the harrowing straits of memory. He was gambling that if we survived the passage, we might discover an ocean where the past would become the wind at our back rather than a driving gale to the nose of our boat. This book is the record of that voyage.” 

When he was sixteen years old, Ian Morgan Cron was told about his father’s clandestine work with the CIA.  This astonishing revelation, coupled with his father’s dark struggles with chronic alcoholism and depression, upended the world of a boy struggling to become a man.  Decades later, as he faces his own personal demons, Ian realizes the only way to find peace is to voyage back through a painful childhood marked by extremes—privilege and poverty, violence and tenderness, truth and deceit—that he’s spent years trying to escape.  

In this surprisingly funny and forgiving memoir, Ian reminds us that no matter how different the pieces may be, in the end we are all cut from the same cloth, stitched by faith into an exquisite quilt of grace. 

 “Simultaneously redemptive and consoling with bright moments of humor . . . this story is chock-full of sacredness and hope. Cron is one of only a few spirituality authors who could articulate these themes as poignantly.”


“Ian Cron writes with astonishing energy and freshness; his metaphors stick fast in the imagination. This is neither a simple memoir of hurt endured, nor a tidy story of reconciliation and resolution. It is—rather like Augustine’s Confessions—a testimony to the unfinished business of grace.”

DR. ROWAN WILLIAMS, Archbishop of Canterbury

“Ian Cron has the gift of making his human journey a parable for all of our journeys. Read this profound book and be well fed, and freed.”

FR. RICHARD ROHR, O.F.M., author of Everything Belongs

“Ian Morgan Cron is a brilliant writer. This is the kind of book that you don’t just read. It reads you.”

MARK BATTERSON, author of In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day

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About the Author

Ian Morgan Cron is an Episcopal priest, speaker, and the author of Chasing Francis: A Pilgrim's Tale, which was hailed by the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, Fr. Richard Rohr, Brian McLaren, and Phyllis Tickle, among others. Ian is currently the curator of the Conversations on Courage and Faith Series at Christ Episcopal Church in Greenwich, CT. He and his wife have three children and divide their time between homes in Connecticut and Tennessee.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars An Interesting Read: Jan. 29 2012
By Dr. Rob
The title of this book grabbed my attention immediately as I was hoping to see the tie between Jesus, his father, and the CIA. These are all subjects that intrigue me, and so it was with this anticipation that I grabbed the book and started to read.

The book itself is a journey of pain, as Ian Morgan Cron takes us for a walk through his life. His honesty and willingness to invite the reader creatively into his pain was appreciated and endearing. I ended up not only liking Ian, but hurting for him, and the pain his life has experienced.

The book did not leave me rejoicing in Jesus which I would have appreciated, and much of Ian's fathers work in the CIA remained a mystery. His pain and joy is the focus of the journey, so if you are looking to be entertained by peering into the life of a good author and vicariously feeling his pain and the beginnings of his healing, you will enjoy this book, if you are looking to grow, you may be disappointed.

Book has been provided courtesy of Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available now at your favourite bookseller
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4.0 out of 5 stars Captivating, even in the hard places. Jan. 7 2012
By Lynn A. Davidson TOP 1000 REVIEWER
I received a copy of Jesus, My Father, the CIA, And Me: A memoir' of sorts from Book Sneeze in exchange for a review.

This book was hard to put down even when I absolutely had to. It was with caution that I started reading, not knowing what to expect after having read someone's introduction ' but by the time I was into chapter two there was no stopping.

Ian Cron writes with such seeming honesty and transparency that the reader can feel his grief, his triumphs, his struggles. I winced in places, feeling sorrow for his pain, and laughed out loud where he unexpectedly injected humour.

He writes about his tumultuous growing up years ' as he remembers it ' with his secretive alcoholic father and his proper, lovely mother who tried to protect him. He writes about his own fall into a life of addiction, patterned unwittingly after his father. And he writes about his deep love for God, his anger toward Jesus when all he wants is for his own father to love him, and the discoveries of the truth about both his father and Jesus. Truths that change his life.

What bothered me about this book was the author's flippant attitude toward God, his apparent lack of reverence as if God owed him something. My hope was that he was simply expressing the feelings he had early in his spiritual journey, which are probably the questions of many in their search for Truth. Ian Morgan Cron, who eventually became a priest, eased my mind when he responded to my alarm with these words: "I think what you heard as flippant was actually masked anger, disappointment expressed in sarcasm, which is what I did in those days."

This is a story that pulled me in and held me there right to the end; such an enjoyable read that is different from any out there.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Memoir Nov. 1 2011
By Nathan
Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me by Ian Morgan Cron is a fantastic read. In fact, I read the whole thing in one day, I simply could not put it down.

Cron leads us through his journey with his family, through riches and poverty, through alcoholism and family struggles. This is not a book that paints a false, and rosy picture of what it means to live for Christ, but because of that it invites the reader into real struggles, and healing. It is amazing to read the way in which Christ is at work in both Cron's life, and ours as well.

Forgive the cliche, but this book will make you both laugh and cry. It is marvelously written and is one of my favorite memoirs in a while.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review; the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: 'Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.'
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3.0 out of 5 stars Quick read, but useful stories Aug. 1 2011
Ian Morgan Cron shares his childhood, living in a challenging home, and finding out later in life that his father worked for the Central Intelligence Agency.

Ian's childhood mimics many childhoods of post WWII era, with the main difference is that most dad's didn't live the lives of spies.

This book is a quick read, and it tends to bounce around a bit, but it has a real feel to it, much like a conversation. There are a lot of positive stories of Ian's faith and upbringing, and the positive influence the Church had on his life.

Some stories of foolish childhood activities reminded me of some of the idiotic things I attempted when I was young.

I'm thankful those actions didn't cost me my life, or any sort of damage to me or others.

The strained relationship between Ian and his dad serves as a reminder for us with children to be there for them, no matter the cost.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Smiling from the lifeboat July 19 2011
Ian Cron strikes me as the coolest Episcopal priest I ever came across. Not that I know any, but if I did I would think he stands out.

He writes with the humor of Garrison Keillor and hints of Woody Allen. He is theologically trained but does not write a treatise. Instead, we find an auto-biography that brings us to a quiet place at an altar. His testimony reminds us that broken people are healed by a broken Lord.

This is his journey with Christ from childhood, through addiction and depression to parenting and priesthood. I was struck by the simplicity of his gospel and huge gaps in the story. We learn very little about his seminary years or how he came into the priesthood.

But the gaps make sense because Ian turns himself inside out with vulnerability and intention. I was left with the impression that Ian Cron is one who reverences The Name in the same way that Jews would not utter God's Name.

Great read. Couldn't put it down.

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