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Editor’s Note

“Crime & Corruption...”

Geopolitical conflicts drive this narrative to the dangerous unknowns of international crime & corruption, but an inspired plan proposes a way to change the landscape for future generations.
Alex K.
Scribd Editor
"Economic hit men,” John Perkins writes, “are highly paid professionals who cheat countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars. Their tools include fraudulent financial reports, rigged elections, payoffs, extortion, sex, and murder.”

John Perkins should know—he was an economic hit man. His job was to convince countries that are strategically important to the U.S.—from Indonesia to Panama—to accept enormous loans for infrastructure development, and to make sure that the lucrative projects were contracted to U. S. corporations. Saddled with huge debts, these countries came under the control of the United States government, World Bank and other U.S.-dominated aid agencies that acted like loan sharks—dictating repayment terms and bullying foreign governments into submission.

This New York Times bestseller exposes international intrigue, corruption, and little-known government and corporate activities that have dire consequences for American democracy and the world. It is a compelling story that also offers hope and a vision for realizing the American dream of a just and compassionate world that will bring us greater security.

Topics: United States of America, Tense, Dramatic, Economy, American Government, American Foreign Policy, and Corruption

Published: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc. on Nov 9, 2004
ISBN: 9781605095295
List price: $16.00
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Blew my mind!!read more
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Hate the information and also that the author waited so long to say anything about it.read more
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Fantastic...read more
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Suberb, reinforces much of my current worldview on politics, economics, and businessread more
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Not much to confess!This really isn't a startling confession on the inner workings of neo-imperialism if you are already aware of the conspiracy. None dare call it a conspiracy and John Perkins is one of those, numerous times in fact. The man doth protest too much in that arena. I believe everything he writes, he believes, which is why this is a must read in understanding a part of this "agenda". This is not the whole story.read more
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I read this book just before With Malice And Forethought. I knew things like this happened in the world so for me it didn't really provide any new insights. I wish that Perkins had of actually provided real names, but I guess there are legal issues involved and the protagonists in his book would have probably seen their real names in a harsh and unkind light. Apart from no real names, the book is an exploratory examination of the career of someone who has been groomed into becoming a master manipulator. Of course that is what big corporate America and European interests want. The flow of money is highly interesting in that Corp A offers Country A infrastructure at some price plus interest rate. All the money goes back to Corp A through itself and its subs. Once the interest can't be paid on the loan, then Corp A lever Country A for natural resources, reductions in pricing, etc. to take a market advantage. Meanwhile, Country A starves itself into submission and the only winner is Corp A, because poor people can't buy cars to use on the roads or appliances to use electricity. We live in a pretty ugly world and this book explains some of its workings.read more
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This really opened my eyes to what happened and is condoned by our country. Very scary and realistic.
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Confessions of an Economic Hit Man - what can I say? I think it's a good book for mainstream culture to read. Not that the writing is great, but the message is a good one to hear. John Perkins comes across as making himself sound like he's really tough without really backing up that posturing with stories that support. Obviously, there's a difference between a "traditional" hit man and an economic one. Yet, Perkins seems to feel he's just as tough. Beyond that, his sacrifices to push aside all the money he was making doesn't seem that severe when he was likely walking away with more money than the average citizen sees in their lifetimes. When you consider the state of the people he writes about, it's more than likely that whole towns don't see that type of money during a generation.Anyway, even though the writing is a little rough and I thought his personality was a little grating, it could be worth a read to those not already aware of many of the atrocities are country perpetrates on others.Still, Noam Chomsky or Howard Zinn do a better job of writing and educating. If you sincerely want to open your eyes, pick up something by one of them (I like Zinn better personally).read more
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Nice blend of total fiction and egomaniacal delusions of grandeur mixed with the more factual history of CIA involvement in the affairs of developing countries. Required reading for a class in graduate school. Probably the worst book I've ever had to read for a class.read more
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Great readA real eye opener!read more
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I'm trying to figure out what the appropriate subtitle for this book should be and I can't decide among the following: * Travels Through Guilt with the World's 33rd Richest Hippie * The Mind of an Empty Suit * A Self-Important Revisionist History * How I Learned to Hate Myself and Love the Third World * Memoirs of a Cold War PaperpusherConfessions of an Economic Hitman by John Perkins is an exclamation point riddled history of a few financial manipulations of the Cold War by a man who had no stake in his own ambition.The first thing you notice about this account is that it is written by a man who thinks he was sitting on top of the world, when in fact he was just a cog in the energy industry. If you are credulous enough to believe that the debts and revenues associated with the energy business is indeed the core principle of the global economy, then the moral outrage of this book makes sense. But there's a whole lot to swallow.On the plus side, it's a fast and somewhat entertaining read. Otherwise it is a exercise in the slow revelations of a kind of self-loathing that takes about 20 years to surface.One of the things that I've had in mind as I was reading this screed was the sense of geography as destiny. As I look at the 20th Century, I think of most of it focused on the economics of . Perkins was one of the people who made the truth a narrative of economic exploitation. He falls in love with Socialist charismatics in Latin America, rues the lives of poor peasants, and bemoans the basic nature of corporate capitalism without ever acknowledging or even understanding the basic nature of socialism.Perkins is a perfect example of a cultural relativist. a perceptive reader can see how much he hates his hometown and parents and idolizes romantic ideals associated with revolutionary rhetoric. But you can't imagine that he even had the temerity to read Marx, Weber, Engles, Friere or anyone. Back when I was a bit more blackified, I referred to such people as culture vultures. If it's indigenous, it's good. But you'll never see him once talk about infant mortality statistics, literacy rates, crime rates or even inflation.I discovered a bit too late that this book would teach me nothing about the business of foreign direct investment or the workings of the World Bank except that he saw it as evil. Technically, you'll get a great deal more insight reading Wikipedia. Basically, Perkins assumes that his game was the only game on the planet, his company was smack dab in the middle of it and that it was all being subtley directed by the CIA and NSA and that this is, was and always will be the American way. You really get a foggy view of the Evil Empire of America from Perkins, who resembles nobody quite so much as a cynical wanker who is too soulless to quit the game. It's a confession all right.By the time I got 2/3rds of the way through, reading the book began to become annoying. The incredible vacuity of this man was staggering. There are no personal relationships in the book worth speaking of. He found loyalty only to his bosses worth mentioning. It is a stunning revelation about his character that he never once had a kind word to say or any personal quality worth mentioning about his staff that stands out in memory. We learn that he took one of his charges (female) on a yacht cruise to some isle in the Caribbean, but that when he got there, he was so sickened by his guilty conscience that he banged his head against the coconut trees.If you want to understand something about the life of an economist and high finance, the best book I've read is My Life as a Quant. If you want to understand something about the life of a reluctant spy, the best book to read is Larry Kolb's Overworld. If you want to get well-written account of a man who was too spoiled to find himself while being a toady in the economic hardball of the Cold War era, then this is your book. But it's nowhere near as good as, say The Quiet American.You can imagine that Perkins, who is a great admirer of Graham Greene, might have had aspirations to be such a character as Greene might pen. He is earnest to tell such a story that would portray himself thus, but he is to honest to consider himself heroic, and I suspect that he'll be working off his guilt for the rest of his life. In that regard, 'Confessions of an Economic Hitman' is (now prefaced and extended in the paperback edition) a blueprint for American liberal guilt. If there was ever someone who truly believed that global warming and a host of other blowbacks are destined to doom America to a well-deserved kharmic smackdown, it is John Perkins. He has always been a citizen of the world pretending to be a patriotic American, down to the repetitions of his undying faith in the words of Thomas Paine. You'd think, being a pseudo-economist, that he'd have some room in his heart for Alexander Hamilton. Ahh but that would mean that he'd have to admire courage.I didn't want to be a harsh judge of Perkins. I thought I might learn of an extraordinary life, one of conviction and then epiphany. Instead I learned of a small yapping dog who was always on a leash he lacked the spirit to gnaw through. Someone who would tell us in the end that we should use less oil and that 'corporatocray' is evil. This book has been a disappointment in many ways. I may well be very happy to read Thomas Friedman after this.Good parts?Yeah there are a few. He speaks about a few South American presidents who might have been contenders. He gives a few details about Saudi Aramco. But compared to Larry Kolb's fascinating and detailed portraits of Daniel Ortega and Adnan Khashoggi, this is Romper Room. If Perkins thought he was an agent... don't make me laugh.read more
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About a Economic Graduate who was employed by the US government to convince third world countires that they needed large loans. The sort book that makes me want to rejoin the SWP.read more
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Great book. It show you the behind-the-scene of education and government. There is some really nasty things going on. Cross your fingers and hope for the best ;-)read more
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This was a fascinating read. I had a general idea that these kind of shenanigans were going on, but the in-depth look at the mechanism was well worth it. That being said, I have the strong suspicion that the author played up his moral discomfort to a very large degree to make himself a more sympathetic character, and that leaves me less trusting of his overall account than I might have been had he seemed more genuine.read more
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Oy. Overwrought and possibly delusional account of one man's mid-life crisis.read more
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In short, I have never read a book that is more self-indulging in my life. Basically, Perkins spent the majority of his adult life working for firms that make billions of dollars guaranteeing loans for poor countries that will never be able to pay them back, all the while funneling the money back into the major corporations that support his consulting firm. He spends the majority of the piece explaining how guilty he felt for his involvement with the rape of nations, which includes work in Panama and Ecuador, and that he wanted to write this book since the early 80's(In fact,he admits to taking bribes of 500,000 usd to not write the book in the 1990s). However,he continued to work for these firms, stating that he felt too threatened to leave the jobs. Personally, i think the extremely high wage and lifestyle certainly played a role.Overall, the book follows a cycle: Perkins goes to a country, becomes one with the locals who show him the darker side of the nation that he is attempting to guarentee deals with, he then realizes the error of his ways and feels guilt ridden, but continues his work. Odd... so guilt ridden he continued to attempt to guarentee deals for the American Corporations. In fact, you can't help but feel that his "Confession" has more to do with capitalizing and making more money off his career. The book has been a best seller, and reportly is going to be made into a movie. No word yet on if he plans to donate the proceeds...read more
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I read this for our book group. Jade suggested it, she's an accountant. I have to admit I found it really easy to read, and not at all dry at all. I just didn't really believe the guy. I"m not sure why. But for some reason I just didn't believe his story. Yes I believed that people did all this, but I'm not sure that it was recruited by the government. Still maybe it was.read more
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The all-true tale of a guy secretly employed by the NSA for 20+ years to encourage poor countries to allow US-led development programs that would eventually do nothing to actually boost their economies but everything to give the US govt economic leverage over them. This, he says, is the art of empire building post-WW2. I’m sure some of it’s true, but my main beef is that Perkins unconvincingly tries to argue that almost from the start, his conscience bothered him about all this as he got to know people on the streets of the countries he was helping exploit, yet he screws them anyway. Sounds to me like he’s making excuses after the fact, so I don’t know how seriously to take his claims in the end.read more
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Everyone needs to read this book to understand that the nations governments do not run the world!read more
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This is a very interesting and rather disturbing book. Events and behavior described in it can surprise only those folks that never (and I mean never) took time to see what is going in the world – again, not through the eyes of the current politicians and/or [current] public opinion but through some sort of independent research on their own (reading history is always good way to start). As I said it is nothing new, as long as there is lust for power and more fortune there will always be people subjugating other people – technology and technique are only things that change.Fortunately information age is here and modern (wo)man can access wide variety of topics and issues by simply browsing the web – this brought what author calls “leaking of the truth” and connect-the-dots effect (again using those dots at the disposal : ) – by no means insufficient amount of data). This differs greatly from time when it took months (if not years) for news to arrive from one place to another or time when people were mostly illiterate and depended upon others for interpretation.How we move from here is now entirely up to us (as a society). Hopefully we will move in the right direction.Great book, narrative reminds me of Paul Erdman’s “Crash of ’79” (both were financial experts and I think both knew very well what is going on in the world – one choose fiction and other one chose biography to describe what is going on).read more
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I hated this book. Finishing it was painful. Perkins clearly has a point to make: if you miss it the first time, don't worry, he'll say it again. And again. And then 10 times more in the next chapter. Basically it goes like this: "What I and other economic hit men do is terrible. We're awful people. We fly to exotic lands first class and hang out with world leaders. Because of our jobs we exploit the people of third world countries. Did I mention that I spent time with world leaders? Let me tell you how cool it was the time I hung out with Fidel Castro." And repeat.read more
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Some interesting ideas obscured by obnoxious narrator, exaggerations of facts, hyperbole and demonization present throughout. Unreliable.read more
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Walk into a country, overvalue the capacity of the economy and then get an insupportable loan. IN the end, the county is a puppet to your country's needs.read more
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Nothing in here came as any great surprise, I must say. A good one to point any teens you may have in the house in the direction of. That's not to say I didn't ejoy it, mind: I did.read more
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john perkins is a john JERKINS that doesnt respond to emails but instead employs his niece to send automated responses telling people he doesnt respond to emails and that she does it for him.read more
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I have met the enemy and he is us.Enlightenment on how the evil empire gets it's way in the third world.Not extremely well written, but interesting.read more
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Review of “Confessions of an economic Hit Man (EHM)”

I don’t exactly remember which of my friends and/or acquaintances told me to read this book in the first place, and like always I added this book to my “to be read” list and decided to wait whenever it’s turn comes up in the my list.

Initially I had reservations reading this book. For a guy like me who had none whatsoever background of accounting & economics, words like Economic Hit Man were totally intimidating. My first reaction to the title was of fear. It appeared daunting and a bit of too subjective to read. It is not clear to me, what made me read this book – my internal ability to push myself to do new (read weird) things and keep myself open (read vulnerable) to everything or my ability to torture myself with most awkward things in life just because I want to see myself as strong (read Mighty STRONG) or just random curiosity. But whatever it was, I can’t thank it enough for making me read this book and completing it till the very end.

John Perkins writes very candidly about his life, his geographically widespread professional entourage, turbulent personal accidents and of all the stories which his experience brought to him. The book started with a confused and a not clear note, which is acceptable given the fact that the reader should be able to put things in “his perspective” rather than putting things in “author’s perspective”.

At first I guessed that this book would be a fable of some economic blunders made in the US economy and some of its “free trade partners” in this global economy, but to my surprise this book contained that and much more.

The way John passes through countries through countries and explains tirelessly about what MAIN Corporation stands for and how MAIN reaped him in, intertwined with the notion of personal life as well is nothing short of indescribable. Earlier just professional and later his personal experiences started to revolve around MAIN’ strategy to expand the global empire and meeting to my realms of understanding, this thirst of oil continues to evade US supported MAIN from one continent to another. Horrifying examples of Ecuador, Panama, Indonesia, and Canal country are meant to open the eyes of the readers and the masses (by a long shot though) to the corporate bureaucracy. The author coined a new term out of it, which is interesting too. The book clearly shows that the oldest democracy in the world has outlawed all the international laws (the experience stories about Vietnam and Iraq war), nullified all the popular democracy movements in the targeted countries (for e.g. Canal), CIA assassinations imprints (for example, murder of Roduge) all over the books, colossal amount of national debts incurred to these countries in lieu of providing foreign aid for building infrastructure ( such as highways, dams, power plants, oil plants and many more), loss of national freedom, and many similar activities. Why this book & its controversial experiences seem to me as different is a good question that I am asking myself, way before even I thought I would write a review about it.

Big fish still eats the small fish. A mightier country today dictates the smaller country by means money (read foreign aid), technology transfer (read lobbying for concessions and army base) and sometimes war (read US supported army coup). Oil thirst seems to overtake everything else in the world and on this planet. NOTHING stands in front it. The fact that first EHMs are sent to a country to investigate and prepare the ground to a new country and if that fails, the jackals are sent shows the pinch of might these bigger conglomerates have over you and my daily affairs.

Each one of us likes to think that I am free and I am equal as guaranteed by the constitution (this is usually true for most of the countries, irrespective of where you belong to and from where you are reading this), but in the bigger picture, these big money earning and oil thirsty juggernauts will destroy the very fundamental of freedom by enslaving everyone of us with their products, services and money.

To our greatest fear, even today the imperialism prevails. It really doesn’t matter that which nation you are reading this entry from, but it matters what history you nation has and most importantly what it is going through now. Imperialism as we knew it, ended ages ago. Now you don’t see geographically spread colonies and rampant human slavery, but you see huge national debts of countries once rich with natural resources, now we don’t see blacks and browns tortured because of their skin color (partly thanks to the system and partly to education that let’s everyone to be seen as equals), but we see good people like John Perkins working as EHM and helping to create global empires for the countries like this one on the expense of so many others.

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An eye opening look at how the United States sabotages the economies of developing nations in order to open the way for economic domination. The inside story as told by one of those employed to do the damage.read more
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Thought it was a great book. Not too specific, there are plenty of other books for that. It was told in story / memoir form which made for faster reading and heavier impact.read more
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This is the story of Global Imperialism, financial subjugation of third world peoples and how it is done by international corporations. For this task, the corporations use men and women called by Perkins Economic Hit Men.The book details who did the dirty work and how the work was done. Perkins was very successful at the work and was well paid for it until his conscience forced him to quit.The writing is in in an easy, readable style with not too many acronyms. It is a fairly short book but is well detailed.read more
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Blew my mind!!
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Hate the information and also that the author waited so long to say anything about it.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Fantastic...
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Suberb, reinforces much of my current worldview on politics, economics, and business
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Not much to confess!This really isn't a startling confession on the inner workings of neo-imperialism if you are already aware of the conspiracy. None dare call it a conspiracy and John Perkins is one of those, numerous times in fact. The man doth protest too much in that arena. I believe everything he writes, he believes, which is why this is a must read in understanding a part of this "agenda". This is not the whole story.
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I read this book just before With Malice And Forethought. I knew things like this happened in the world so for me it didn't really provide any new insights. I wish that Perkins had of actually provided real names, but I guess there are legal issues involved and the protagonists in his book would have probably seen their real names in a harsh and unkind light. Apart from no real names, the book is an exploratory examination of the career of someone who has been groomed into becoming a master manipulator. Of course that is what big corporate America and European interests want. The flow of money is highly interesting in that Corp A offers Country A infrastructure at some price plus interest rate. All the money goes back to Corp A through itself and its subs. Once the interest can't be paid on the loan, then Corp A lever Country A for natural resources, reductions in pricing, etc. to take a market advantage. Meanwhile, Country A starves itself into submission and the only winner is Corp A, because poor people can't buy cars to use on the roads or appliances to use electricity. We live in a pretty ugly world and this book explains some of its workings.
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This really opened my eyes to what happened and is condoned by our country. Very scary and realistic.
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Confessions of an Economic Hit Man - what can I say? I think it's a good book for mainstream culture to read. Not that the writing is great, but the message is a good one to hear. John Perkins comes across as making himself sound like he's really tough without really backing up that posturing with stories that support. Obviously, there's a difference between a "traditional" hit man and an economic one. Yet, Perkins seems to feel he's just as tough. Beyond that, his sacrifices to push aside all the money he was making doesn't seem that severe when he was likely walking away with more money than the average citizen sees in their lifetimes. When you consider the state of the people he writes about, it's more than likely that whole towns don't see that type of money during a generation.Anyway, even though the writing is a little rough and I thought his personality was a little grating, it could be worth a read to those not already aware of many of the atrocities are country perpetrates on others.Still, Noam Chomsky or Howard Zinn do a better job of writing and educating. If you sincerely want to open your eyes, pick up something by one of them (I like Zinn better personally).
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Nice blend of total fiction and egomaniacal delusions of grandeur mixed with the more factual history of CIA involvement in the affairs of developing countries. Required reading for a class in graduate school. Probably the worst book I've ever had to read for a class.
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Great readA real eye opener!
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I'm trying to figure out what the appropriate subtitle for this book should be and I can't decide among the following: * Travels Through Guilt with the World's 33rd Richest Hippie * The Mind of an Empty Suit * A Self-Important Revisionist History * How I Learned to Hate Myself and Love the Third World * Memoirs of a Cold War PaperpusherConfessions of an Economic Hitman by John Perkins is an exclamation point riddled history of a few financial manipulations of the Cold War by a man who had no stake in his own ambition.The first thing you notice about this account is that it is written by a man who thinks he was sitting on top of the world, when in fact he was just a cog in the energy industry. If you are credulous enough to believe that the debts and revenues associated with the energy business is indeed the core principle of the global economy, then the moral outrage of this book makes sense. But there's a whole lot to swallow.On the plus side, it's a fast and somewhat entertaining read. Otherwise it is a exercise in the slow revelations of a kind of self-loathing that takes about 20 years to surface.One of the things that I've had in mind as I was reading this screed was the sense of geography as destiny. As I look at the 20th Century, I think of most of it focused on the economics of . Perkins was one of the people who made the truth a narrative of economic exploitation. He falls in love with Socialist charismatics in Latin America, rues the lives of poor peasants, and bemoans the basic nature of corporate capitalism without ever acknowledging or even understanding the basic nature of socialism.Perkins is a perfect example of a cultural relativist. a perceptive reader can see how much he hates his hometown and parents and idolizes romantic ideals associated with revolutionary rhetoric. But you can't imagine that he even had the temerity to read Marx, Weber, Engles, Friere or anyone. Back when I was a bit more blackified, I referred to such people as culture vultures. If it's indigenous, it's good. But you'll never see him once talk about infant mortality statistics, literacy rates, crime rates or even inflation.I discovered a bit too late that this book would teach me nothing about the business of foreign direct investment or the workings of the World Bank except that he saw it as evil. Technically, you'll get a great deal more insight reading Wikipedia. Basically, Perkins assumes that his game was the only game on the planet, his company was smack dab in the middle of it and that it was all being subtley directed by the CIA and NSA and that this is, was and always will be the American way. You really get a foggy view of the Evil Empire of America from Perkins, who resembles nobody quite so much as a cynical wanker who is too soulless to quit the game. It's a confession all right.By the time I got 2/3rds of the way through, reading the book began to become annoying. The incredible vacuity of this man was staggering. There are no personal relationships in the book worth speaking of. He found loyalty only to his bosses worth mentioning. It is a stunning revelation about his character that he never once had a kind word to say or any personal quality worth mentioning about his staff that stands out in memory. We learn that he took one of his charges (female) on a yacht cruise to some isle in the Caribbean, but that when he got there, he was so sickened by his guilty conscience that he banged his head against the coconut trees.If you want to understand something about the life of an economist and high finance, the best book I've read is My Life as a Quant. If you want to understand something about the life of a reluctant spy, the best book to read is Larry Kolb's Overworld. If you want to get well-written account of a man who was too spoiled to find himself while being a toady in the economic hardball of the Cold War era, then this is your book. But it's nowhere near as good as, say The Quiet American.You can imagine that Perkins, who is a great admirer of Graham Greene, might have had aspirations to be such a character as Greene might pen. He is earnest to tell such a story that would portray himself thus, but he is to honest to consider himself heroic, and I suspect that he'll be working off his guilt for the rest of his life. In that regard, 'Confessions of an Economic Hitman' is (now prefaced and extended in the paperback edition) a blueprint for American liberal guilt. If there was ever someone who truly believed that global warming and a host of other blowbacks are destined to doom America to a well-deserved kharmic smackdown, it is John Perkins. He has always been a citizen of the world pretending to be a patriotic American, down to the repetitions of his undying faith in the words of Thomas Paine. You'd think, being a pseudo-economist, that he'd have some room in his heart for Alexander Hamilton. Ahh but that would mean that he'd have to admire courage.I didn't want to be a harsh judge of Perkins. I thought I might learn of an extraordinary life, one of conviction and then epiphany. Instead I learned of a small yapping dog who was always on a leash he lacked the spirit to gnaw through. Someone who would tell us in the end that we should use less oil and that 'corporatocray' is evil. This book has been a disappointment in many ways. I may well be very happy to read Thomas Friedman after this.Good parts?Yeah there are a few. He speaks about a few South American presidents who might have been contenders. He gives a few details about Saudi Aramco. But compared to Larry Kolb's fascinating and detailed portraits of Daniel Ortega and Adnan Khashoggi, this is Romper Room. If Perkins thought he was an agent... don't make me laugh.
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About a Economic Graduate who was employed by the US government to convince third world countires that they needed large loans. The sort book that makes me want to rejoin the SWP.
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Great book. It show you the behind-the-scene of education and government. There is some really nasty things going on. Cross your fingers and hope for the best ;-)
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This was a fascinating read. I had a general idea that these kind of shenanigans were going on, but the in-depth look at the mechanism was well worth it. That being said, I have the strong suspicion that the author played up his moral discomfort to a very large degree to make himself a more sympathetic character, and that leaves me less trusting of his overall account than I might have been had he seemed more genuine.
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Oy. Overwrought and possibly delusional account of one man's mid-life crisis.
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In short, I have never read a book that is more self-indulging in my life. Basically, Perkins spent the majority of his adult life working for firms that make billions of dollars guaranteeing loans for poor countries that will never be able to pay them back, all the while funneling the money back into the major corporations that support his consulting firm. He spends the majority of the piece explaining how guilty he felt for his involvement with the rape of nations, which includes work in Panama and Ecuador, and that he wanted to write this book since the early 80's(In fact,he admits to taking bribes of 500,000 usd to not write the book in the 1990s). However,he continued to work for these firms, stating that he felt too threatened to leave the jobs. Personally, i think the extremely high wage and lifestyle certainly played a role.Overall, the book follows a cycle: Perkins goes to a country, becomes one with the locals who show him the darker side of the nation that he is attempting to guarentee deals with, he then realizes the error of his ways and feels guilt ridden, but continues his work. Odd... so guilt ridden he continued to attempt to guarentee deals for the American Corporations. In fact, you can't help but feel that his "Confession" has more to do with capitalizing and making more money off his career. The book has been a best seller, and reportly is going to be made into a movie. No word yet on if he plans to donate the proceeds...
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I read this for our book group. Jade suggested it, she's an accountant. I have to admit I found it really easy to read, and not at all dry at all. I just didn't really believe the guy. I"m not sure why. But for some reason I just didn't believe his story. Yes I believed that people did all this, but I'm not sure that it was recruited by the government. Still maybe it was.
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The all-true tale of a guy secretly employed by the NSA for 20+ years to encourage poor countries to allow US-led development programs that would eventually do nothing to actually boost their economies but everything to give the US govt economic leverage over them. This, he says, is the art of empire building post-WW2. I’m sure some of it’s true, but my main beef is that Perkins unconvincingly tries to argue that almost from the start, his conscience bothered him about all this as he got to know people on the streets of the countries he was helping exploit, yet he screws them anyway. Sounds to me like he’s making excuses after the fact, so I don’t know how seriously to take his claims in the end.
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Everyone needs to read this book to understand that the nations governments do not run the world!
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This is a very interesting and rather disturbing book. Events and behavior described in it can surprise only those folks that never (and I mean never) took time to see what is going in the world – again, not through the eyes of the current politicians and/or [current] public opinion but through some sort of independent research on their own (reading history is always good way to start). As I said it is nothing new, as long as there is lust for power and more fortune there will always be people subjugating other people – technology and technique are only things that change.Fortunately information age is here and modern (wo)man can access wide variety of topics and issues by simply browsing the web – this brought what author calls “leaking of the truth” and connect-the-dots effect (again using those dots at the disposal : ) – by no means insufficient amount of data). This differs greatly from time when it took months (if not years) for news to arrive from one place to another or time when people were mostly illiterate and depended upon others for interpretation.How we move from here is now entirely up to us (as a society). Hopefully we will move in the right direction.Great book, narrative reminds me of Paul Erdman’s “Crash of ’79” (both were financial experts and I think both knew very well what is going on in the world – one choose fiction and other one chose biography to describe what is going on).
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I hated this book. Finishing it was painful. Perkins clearly has a point to make: if you miss it the first time, don't worry, he'll say it again. And again. And then 10 times more in the next chapter. Basically it goes like this: "What I and other economic hit men do is terrible. We're awful people. We fly to exotic lands first class and hang out with world leaders. Because of our jobs we exploit the people of third world countries. Did I mention that I spent time with world leaders? Let me tell you how cool it was the time I hung out with Fidel Castro." And repeat.
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Some interesting ideas obscured by obnoxious narrator, exaggerations of facts, hyperbole and demonization present throughout. Unreliable.
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Walk into a country, overvalue the capacity of the economy and then get an insupportable loan. IN the end, the county is a puppet to your country's needs.
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Nothing in here came as any great surprise, I must say. A good one to point any teens you may have in the house in the direction of. That's not to say I didn't ejoy it, mind: I did.
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john perkins is a john JERKINS that doesnt respond to emails but instead employs his niece to send automated responses telling people he doesnt respond to emails and that she does it for him.
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I have met the enemy and he is us.Enlightenment on how the evil empire gets it's way in the third world.Not extremely well written, but interesting.
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Review of “Confessions of an economic Hit Man (EHM)”

I don’t exactly remember which of my friends and/or acquaintances told me to read this book in the first place, and like always I added this book to my “to be read” list and decided to wait whenever it’s turn comes up in the my list.

Initially I had reservations reading this book. For a guy like me who had none whatsoever background of accounting & economics, words like Economic Hit Man were totally intimidating. My first reaction to the title was of fear. It appeared daunting and a bit of too subjective to read. It is not clear to me, what made me read this book – my internal ability to push myself to do new (read weird) things and keep myself open (read vulnerable) to everything or my ability to torture myself with most awkward things in life just because I want to see myself as strong (read Mighty STRONG) or just random curiosity. But whatever it was, I can’t thank it enough for making me read this book and completing it till the very end.

John Perkins writes very candidly about his life, his geographically widespread professional entourage, turbulent personal accidents and of all the stories which his experience brought to him. The book started with a confused and a not clear note, which is acceptable given the fact that the reader should be able to put things in “his perspective” rather than putting things in “author’s perspective”.

At first I guessed that this book would be a fable of some economic blunders made in the US economy and some of its “free trade partners” in this global economy, but to my surprise this book contained that and much more.

The way John passes through countries through countries and explains tirelessly about what MAIN Corporation stands for and how MAIN reaped him in, intertwined with the notion of personal life as well is nothing short of indescribable. Earlier just professional and later his personal experiences started to revolve around MAIN’ strategy to expand the global empire and meeting to my realms of understanding, this thirst of oil continues to evade US supported MAIN from one continent to another. Horrifying examples of Ecuador, Panama, Indonesia, and Canal country are meant to open the eyes of the readers and the masses (by a long shot though) to the corporate bureaucracy. The author coined a new term out of it, which is interesting too. The book clearly shows that the oldest democracy in the world has outlawed all the international laws (the experience stories about Vietnam and Iraq war), nullified all the popular democracy movements in the targeted countries (for e.g. Canal), CIA assassinations imprints (for example, murder of Roduge) all over the books, colossal amount of national debts incurred to these countries in lieu of providing foreign aid for building infrastructure ( such as highways, dams, power plants, oil plants and many more), loss of national freedom, and many similar activities. Why this book & its controversial experiences seem to me as different is a good question that I am asking myself, way before even I thought I would write a review about it.

Big fish still eats the small fish. A mightier country today dictates the smaller country by means money (read foreign aid), technology transfer (read lobbying for concessions and army base) and sometimes war (read US supported army coup). Oil thirst seems to overtake everything else in the world and on this planet. NOTHING stands in front it. The fact that first EHMs are sent to a country to investigate and prepare the ground to a new country and if that fails, the jackals are sent shows the pinch of might these bigger conglomerates have over you and my daily affairs.

Each one of us likes to think that I am free and I am equal as guaranteed by the constitution (this is usually true for most of the countries, irrespective of where you belong to and from where you are reading this), but in the bigger picture, these big money earning and oil thirsty juggernauts will destroy the very fundamental of freedom by enslaving everyone of us with their products, services and money.

To our greatest fear, even today the imperialism prevails. It really doesn’t matter that which nation you are reading this entry from, but it matters what history you nation has and most importantly what it is going through now. Imperialism as we knew it, ended ages ago. Now you don’t see geographically spread colonies and rampant human slavery, but you see huge national debts of countries once rich with natural resources, now we don’t see blacks and browns tortured because of their skin color (partly thanks to the system and partly to education that let’s everyone to be seen as equals), but we see good people like John Perkins working as EHM and helping to create global empires for the countries like this one on the expense of so many others.

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An eye opening look at how the United States sabotages the economies of developing nations in order to open the way for economic domination. The inside story as told by one of those employed to do the damage.
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Thought it was a great book. Not too specific, there are plenty of other books for that. It was told in story / memoir form which made for faster reading and heavier impact.
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This is the story of Global Imperialism, financial subjugation of third world peoples and how it is done by international corporations. For this task, the corporations use men and women called by Perkins Economic Hit Men.The book details who did the dirty work and how the work was done. Perkins was very successful at the work and was well paid for it until his conscience forced him to quit.The writing is in in an easy, readable style with not too many acronyms. It is a fairly short book but is well detailed.
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