The Godfather Returns Summary & Study Guide

Mark Winegardner
This Study Guide consists of approximately 66 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Godfather Returns.
This section contains 418 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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The Godfather Returns Summary & Study Guide Description

The Godfather Returns Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on The Godfather Returns by Mark Winegardner.

The Godfather Returns follows the life of Don Michael Corleone, a powerful young man with a Machiavellian mind, who has recently taken charge of his father's crime syndicate. Together with his closest advisor, Tom Hagen, Michael has helped his father run the family business for years. But now, with the death of his father, he's on his own, in charge of a restless empire. Transitions of power are not always peaceful, or successful, and Michael feels driven to consolidate his family's power using any means necessary.

Michael has a family of his own, with wife Kay, and his two children. Like his father before him, Michael is determined to provide for and protect his family. His dream is to establish himself as a legitimate businessman, so that his family can come out of the shadows into the light. Michael's long-term scheme to accomplish this involves a lot of bold, risky moves, some legal, some not. While Michael begins investing in legitimate schemes like legalized gambling and real estate, he's simultaneously putting a man who will do his bidding in the White House, and conspiring to assassinate the president of Cuba to legalize casinos there. Michael's father was America's capo di tutti capi, Boss of all Bosses within the Mafia. But even his father never gambled for such high stakes. No one has before.

Caught up in his machinations is his brother, Fredo Corleone, who is the family black sheep, and ultimately the weak link that Nick Geraci will use to attack Michael. Geraci is an up and comer in Michael's organization who Michael, unwisely, steps on in his bid for power. Geraci, a man very similar to Michael, becomes the Don's most formidable rival. But Michael doesn't intend to let his enemies stop him from achieving enough power to control both the Mafia and the government. With the help of talented men like Pete Clemenza and Tom Hagen, most of Michael's plans succeed. But he's willing to sacrifice everything, including his family, to achieve his dreams. By the end of the book, Michael has come full circle. His attempts to go legitimate have only involved him more heavily in organized crime. The reader leaves the story with the realization that Michael enjoys the planning and the scheming more than he wants to reach his goal of going legitimate. One wonders if Michael will continue to fight his destiny, or if he and his last surviving brother, Tom Hagen, will embrace their roles in the Corleone legacy.

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This section contains 418 words
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