"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 Halliburton, Bechtel, Brown and Root, and other United States engineering and construction companies. 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 extraordinary real-life tale exposes international intrigue, corruption, and little-known government and corporate activities that have dire consequences for American democracy and the world.
Listen to John Perkins discuss the book on To the Best of Our Knowledge.
©2004 John Perkins; (P)2005 Blackstone Audiobooks
I heard a lot of very good things about this book and though I enjoyed it I did not find it as engaging as I hoped. I guess I expected more because of the hype.
Business Physicist and Astronomer
I thought this book had great potential and I was very excited to start it after finishing Charlie Wilson's War.
"Confessions" was very disappointing in that it was very short on facts and long on self-pity. It's a bit what you'd expect if an accountant wrote a spy novel and an attorney read it!
I didn't care for the narrator either. He had a very weird inflection that causes him to end sentences oddly.
This book is horrible. Even for a liberal. The voice, the writing; I'm just glad I didn't kill a tree buying this book.
I very much disagree with a lot of Mr. Perkin's views, but I'll start with the one's I agree with.
First the positive. I agree with the author that the World Bank and IMF are not good institutions and have done more harm than good. I agree with him also that international trade bodies are not good institutions, but probably in a different way than the author. In all, this book did have a lot of very good and interesting stories.
That being said I was generally angry when listening to this book because it had so many short comings, inconsitencies, and convienent insertions and omissions to try to make his left wing perspective come accross loud and clear. For example:
-He asserts that oil companies conspired to keep oil prices LOWER. They just can't win.
-He constantly lambastes coups for overthrowing elected governments that he likes, but has no problem supporting Omar Torrijos of Panama, himself unelected and brought to power by a coup
-Say Indonesia is in terrible shape and is in economic shakels, when it in fact has had a decade of unparralled economic success
-Calls his wife a free thinker who just happens to support environmentallist causes and went to UC Berkley. All lefties are free thinkers and all conservatives are dunces I guess
-Criticises sweat shop conditions when it can be argued that there is no way for a country to develop itself any other way (i.e. Tiawan, S.Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, etc.)
-Asserts that the USA is on a path to global emprie. So, if this is so effective, why is the USA at the lowest ebb of its power since at least the 1970's?
-Sites Jimmy Carter as the best president since at least Kennedy and says he did the best at upholding the constitution
In the end I had to shake my head. I obviously disagreed with the author, but it went beyond that. I just think he was just being dishonest. The stories just didn't line up with the conclusions.
This sounded a lot more interesting than it was. I'm pretty liberal, but I just didnt believe this guy. He offers no proof of his conclusions, and half of what he says are just vague, unsubstantiated impressions he has. Stuff like "I believe that my company was helped because of my past service to the corporatocracy." This is a waste of time and I found myself listening to it because it was already paid for. Dont get stuck in that trap!
I hadn't realised that this is really an autobiography. The writer makes vague references to the economy and world events, but most of the time dwells extensively on his personal and emotional thoughts and struggles, his achievements and his life story. Just try counting the number of 'I', 'me' and 'my'.
One-sided, left wing story. Soviet stile lies about America. I'm from former Soviet Union and it was like go back 25 years ago and reading gazeta "Pravda".
One star would be too much for this book.
I heard about this book via the TWiT podcast and thought it would be interesting. I'm not sure whether it was the narrator but I think I slept through most of it...and was glad I did.
I had no idea how controversial this book was prior to listening to it, so I really went into it with unbiased interest. Within the first chapter I had to go lookup what others had said about the author. His need to justify every thought behind every step in his life seems to be a good reference for his maturity level (as well as his need to repeatedly prove his love for the downtrodden). With a plot (and it is a plot, because there is no way this is nonfiction) that reveals conspiracy at every turn, he conveniently removes any possible means of corroboration. A horribly delusional book by an equally delusional author.
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