self for the first time into “family business.” His plan is simple.nSollozzo won’t suspect Michael, precisely because Michaelnhas nothing to do with the family’s activities. Michael proposesnto accept Sollozzo’s offer of a meeting on neutral groundnfor the ostensible purpose of negotiating, but Michael willnsmuggle a gun into the meeting and kill Sollozzo, It is a plannthat combines the cunning of the fox and the violence of thenlion, transcending the polarity that divides and debilitatesnSantino and Hagen, revealing Michael as the ideal Machiavelliannprince, and initiating him into the course that willnbring him to power as his father’s avenger and successor.nSimilarly, the role of religion in the novel and particularly innthe films also illustrates Machiavellian themes. Religion fornPuzo and Coppola appears to have two applications: as a masknbehind which criminality hides and as a sop for women, children,nand unmanly men. The irony of the title of “Godfather”nitself points to the former use, as does the powerful climacticnscene in Part I when Michael, literally becomingngodfather to the child of his treacherous brother-in-law throughnthe sacrament of baptism, renounces Satan and all his worksnwhile at the same moment his assassins cut down his enemies,nmaking him the new Godfather on another level ofnmeaning.nThe use of religion as a Machiavellian mask is continuednand intensified in Part 11, where the repulsive Don Fannucci ofnthe Black Hand ostentatiously offers a large cash donation tonthe Catholic Church and deplores the violence of a Punchnand Judy show, even as the young Vito Corleone stalks himnduring a religious festival in the streets, using the celebration ofnthe Mass as a distraction to kill Fannucci and initiate his ownnrise to power. Indeed, throughout both films there is not onenreligious ceremony or its social celebration that does not servenas a mask for crime: the wedding reception sequence thatnopens Part I, during which Don Corleone plans crimes on behalfnof his retainers; the baptism scene at the end of the film asnwell as the funeral of Don Corleone, when the late Don’sncapo regime Tessio betrays Michael; the confirmation ofnMichael’s own son in Nevada at the beginning of Part II; andnthe funeral of Michael’s mother toward the end of Part II,nwhen Michael gives the order for the murder of his brothernFredo. This pattern is generally evident in the book as well,nand in describing the grand meeting of the heads of the nation’sncrime families in the book, Puzo tells us with irony thatn”it must be noted that some of these men were religious andnbelieved in God.”nIndeed, the only grown man in either the book or the filmsnwho takes religion at all seriously is Fredo himself, who, asnMichael describes him, is “weak and stupid.” Just before hisnown assassination in Part II, Fredo plans a fishing trip withnMichael’s son, and Fredo assures the boy that the way to catchna fish is to say a Hail Mary when he drops the line in the water.nAs Fredo sits in the boat repeating his prayers, Michael’s gunmannblows his brains out from behind.nThe Godfather’s general use of religion is virtually identicalnto the advice offered by Machiavelli to the Prince that “it isnwell to seem merciful, faithful, humane, sincere, religious,nand also to be so; but you must have the mind so disposed thatnwhen it is needful to be otherwise you may be able to changento the opposite qualities,” his belief, based on his reading ofnRoman religion, that “everything that tends to favor religionn(even though it were believed to be false) should be receivednand availed of to strengthen it,” and the saying of Cosmo den26/CHRONICLESnnnMedici, quoted by Machiavelli in his History of Florence, thatn”it required something more to direct a government than tonplay with a string of [rosary] beads.” Rome itself occasionallynis invoked in both book and films, as when Michael notes thatnSantino is scribbling down the names of men to be killed “asnif he were some newly crowned Roman emperor.”nYet while the book proceeds from the premise that legitimatensociety and criminal gangs are analogous, it is atnonce evident that there is also a difference between them. Innthe course of his daughter’s wedding reception, Don Corleonenhas the duty of meeting with and granting favors tonmany friends and relatives. The first of the men to approachnhim is an undertaker, Amerigo Bonasera, who tearfully complainsnthat his daughter has been attacked. Bonasera is annimmigrant and has tried all his life to be a good American, asnhis first name implies. He has obeyed the law and raised hisndaughter as a respectable young woman. Recently, she datedna young man, the son of a U. S. Senator, who tried to seducenher. When she rejected his advances, her date and a friendnbeat her savagely, sending her to the hospital and permanentlyndisfiguring her features.nBeing a good American, Bonasera went to the police andnbrought charges against his daughter’s assailants. Thenscoundrels were convicted. But because of their fathers’ politicalninfluence, the judge gave them only a suspended sentence,nand they smirked at Bonasera as they left the courtroom.nNow he comes to Don Corleone.nThe Don’s response conveys the principal expression of thenmoral code of the book and, even more, the films. Bonasera isnnot a friend of the Don. In all the years they have knownneach other, Bonasera avoided his company, never invited himnto his house, never did him a favor or asked a favor of him.nThat’s all right with the Don, but now, all of a sudden,nBonasera comes to him and asks him, in return for money, toncommit murder. The Don refuses, his dignity wounded bynBonasera’s tasteless insult.nBonasera wanted to be an American, and he turned hisnback on his cultural heritage and his natural friends. “America,”nhe moans, “has been good to me. I wanted to be a goodncitizen. I wanted my child to be American.” And, of course,nhe wanted American justice, which is exactly what he got.n”You never armed yourself with true friends,” the Don tellsnhim. “After all, the police guarded you, there were courts ofnlaw, you and yours could come to no harm. You did not neednDon Corleone.” But now, when the fake, purchased justice ofnAmerica has failed him, to whom does he turn? Don Corleone’snsarcastic advice is that Bonasera accept the judgmentnof the American court and give up his idea of revenge. “Thenjudge has ruled. America has ruled,” he says. The notion ofnvengeance for a wrong suffered by a family member is “notnAmerican.” Best for Amerigo Bonasera to give it up.nAmerica, as the Don describes it and as Bonasera has experiencednit, does not behave like the Corleone family after all,nand the differences between the two societies do not favornAmerica. The differences between the two are precisely thosenbetween two kinds of social organization that sociologists describenas Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft respectively. Gemeinschaftnrefers to a kind of culture characteristic of primitive,nagrarian, tribal societies, in which bonds of kinship, blood relationship,nfeudal ties, social hierarchy, deference, honor, andnfriendship are the norm. “The three pillars of Gemeinschaft—n