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The Family Paperback – November 8, 2002


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Frequently Bought Together

The Family + Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders + Manson in His Own Words: The Shocking Confessions of 'The Most Dangerous Man Alive'
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; Rev Upd edition (November 8, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560253967
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560253969
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #454,389 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

This book seems VERY anti-Manson.
Raechel Dossa
Read this book for more of an inside perspective than can be had from Helter Skelter.
Anonymous Reviewer
Sanders style of writing is great and keeps your interest.
Bobaloo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

90 of 95 people found the following review helpful By Chris K. Wilson on April 26, 2003
Format: Paperback
I'm not sure how anyone could ever dismiss Ed Sanders' "The Family," a detailed account of Charles Manson and the murders his Family committed during the summer of Woodstock, 1969. A superb companion book to Vincent Bugliosi's "Helter Skelter," Sanders' "The Family" is an alternative trip through the madness that defines one of the most infamous and horrifying crimes in American history.
While "Helter Skelter" is a factual, by-the-numbers recount, "The Family" is an attempt to get beneath the surface of these unimaginable crimes. Sanders, a pseudo hippie himself, well-versed in the howling of beatnik eras and the twang of Bob Dylan travels, had unparalleled leeway into the lives of Manson's followers before and during the criminal trials of 1970. He hung with the waifs at Spahn ranch before it burned to the ground. He camped with these very weird kids in Death Valley. And he caught wind of the numerous crazy rumors that floated around like so much LA smog while writing alongside the army of TV/print reporters covering the trial. His work is valid, and his opinions cut through much of the myth and legend of this case. It is also the first true book ever released on this case, having been published in 1971.
Sanders' flippant disregard for Manson's con, and the con of his worshipers, is refreshing. His style reminds me of the extraordinary ruminations of Evan S. Connell in "Son of the Morning Star" - a fantastic work dealing with another rather bloody historical event (Custer and Little Big Horn). Sanders refuses to accept the myth or the legend, and reveals the dirty, flea-bitten truth. His is an unconventional, creative approach, told from the eyes of a most intelligent mind.
But I still find much of Sanders' work to be extremely irresponsible.
Read more ›
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Big Tim on February 10, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
While no Manson book will ever tell the true story, due to variations of 'truth' amongst those involved, this book as a facinating look into a certain era in American history that is too easily glossed over with tye-dye and lava lamps. A must for Manson 'fans'. PS- Blue and Red have both denounced it, so there must be a kernal of truth in here somewhere.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 8, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Anyone who has just finished Helter Skelter should graduate to this book.Sanders lived with the remaining family members while gathering info on the book.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Bobaloo on July 25, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Is it possible to present facts in an enteraining manner? Sanders style of writing is great and keeps your interest. If you want court testimony, legal documents, and legal jargon, read Helter Skelter or visit [...] If you want to read something about these horrific events in a way that isn't boring and over your head, read this. This is one of my favorites on this subject!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By LoLo on September 11, 2006
Format: Paperback
A must have for any Manson collection. The writing was not always perfect but the story seems true from a different perspective, not just legal mumbo jumbo. It is a classic.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By William T. Luther on April 29, 2008
Format: Paperback
A perfect companion to Vincent Bugliosi's "Helter Skelter", "The Family" was written by Ed Sanders, one time member of the "counter culture" 60's act The Fugs. Like Bugliosi, Sanders had first hand contact with The Manson Family in the late 60's/early 70's, however unlike Bugliosi he was not a straight prosecutor but (admittedly) a member of "the underground press" and a dyed in the wool hippie. Sanders occasionally deviates through some wacky borderline conspiracy theories, though always leaving you to draw your own conclusions. The fact that he took numerous trips out to the desert to mix with the Family while writing this book is akin to frontline tours of duty as a war correspondent and adds to the realism as he breaks bread with Manson's murder zombies. I've read this book five times over the past three years and each time its as chilling as the first when you realize that an ex-con hijacked the peace and love generation by collecting damaged youth and utilizing his control skills learned as a former pimp which combined with liberal doses of hallucinogenic drugs helped him create his morbid dream world of racial unrest, murder and mayhem, that was quite possibly just a mask for a personal, money and drug fueled related agenda.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Chauncey Fellows on October 11, 2011
Format: Paperback
Fugs figurehead ed sanders does not disappoint with his incredibly researched/first-hand account of the Manson trial and mystery. curious enough, i found everything leading up to the murders the most interesting period covered in the book. Sanders acts as your personal guide through the morass of Manson's ritual/hate killings, sex/terror/mind control cult, and the rather colorful characters and locations that floated/hovered around the man. Don't expect a cut and dry 540 pg written version of an episode of 'unsolved mysteries'. the reader definitely must appreciate Sanders' sense of humor and rhythm of verse to fully engage in the tale he weaves. highly recommended as a first read into the love and terror cult.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Anonymous Reviewer on April 27, 2009
Format: Paperback
If you want to get down to the nitty gritty of what made the Manson Family tick, this is the best source to date. Sanders was able to speak with many people who would never have been so open with Bugliosi or his associates. Read this book for more of an inside perspective than can be had from Helter Skelter.

One caveat is it helps to already have at least a passing familiarity with the hipster lingo and historical background of the time during which the book was written. L7 folks might want to read up on the history of hippie era first as background.
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