"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
This book offers a fascinating insight into the inner workings of the corporate and government worlds. The reader does a great job and I felt a little disappointed every time I had to pause the book.
"Confessions" is an excellent starter book to begin one's journey into understanding America's foreign policy and its [diminishing] role as Empire. Want to know how America turned from a Republic into an Empire, start with "Confessions." The storytelling is dynamic. When I want to understand material in detail, I frequently buy both the audio and the book. I start with the audio which works particularly well for this one. If you are new to or knowledgable about ECMs, Jackyls, and eventially the use of the military, this is a excellent listen. You will be amazed at how long the exploitation of TWCs has been going on. Sad to say, this book clearly lays out why so many in the Third World hate us.
I loved, this audio book. It really makes you open your eyes to the world around you and want to make a difference. I have already recommended this book to 5 other people. It's great.
The Basics: the actual pace of speach was just right, not too involved yet not too slow to be boring. The actual story was absolutely facinating. I always wondered through the years what the other side of the story was. Here, you get it. All the explanations I heard to explain American expansionism seemed to be only one sided. If you have a conscience you'll be interested in this rendition of the truth. Excellent. I couldn't leave it alone until I finished it.
We have always wondered why the Philippines is deep in debt and hardly able to regain its premier economic position in the late '50s.
If only 50% what the author claims is true, then it would be explosive! As more people read this book, they will be exposed to this idea of how the US government can use 'developmental loans' as a way to 'conquer' countries--and How the US is actively corrupting the leadership of each of these countries. Isnt this illegal?
This can form the legal basis for developing countries around the world to repudiate their loans and thereby help lift the plight of the poor in all the developing countries.
Countries like the Philippines are budgeting the majority (more than 60%) of our national budget just to service these debts. Debts that are a direct result of morally reprehensible EHMs. Money that could go to feed and educate millions of people, are being funneled to service these debts.
How much more independent can the Philippiens, if it were not saddled with these dubious 'development' loans? Find out by reading this book. If what the author claims is true. He should be held up as a modern day hero for his courage in exposing this practice.
The narrator's odd declamatory style--at least to my ear--muffled some of the story's impact, but never mind. The story still sizzles.
Whatever you might think of John Perkins himself, the history he witnessed and shaped as a cog in the "corporatocracy" needs to be told.
Just listen, and I promise you, you will never again wonder "...why do they hate us so much."
Of course there will be people who do not want to see the reality of US companies using the US government to advance their interests in developing countries. This book explains the facts in a simplified way so that the 'average American' can understand how things work. Those who don't believe the book, claiming there is not enough detail in it, will be surprised to hear that the author is writing a more detailed version with several other economic hit-man coming forward. Its just a matter of time before more people from developing countries come forward and everything is exposed to those who have the courage to face reality. The next step of course should be to make an effort to hold these greedy and unethical companies responsible.
This is an excellent book and highly recommended. Don't be distracted by the negative 1 star reviews.
"Amateurish, and poorly narrated."
John Perkins appears to be a paranoid schizophrenic with delusions of grandeur. The conspiracy of which he writes is backed up by one conversation with a character that is presumably there only as a plot device, and no evidence beyond what he just 'knows'. What worries me more is that, like any good lie, much of this book is true, and so people may actually believe it. The CIA did bad things. Large (often, but not exclusively) American conglomerates also did bad things. Organisations may have had ulterior motives, and they also wanted to profit. But that's it, and it is very well documented. That may be unlovely, but it is not a conspiracy. Only at the beginning of the last quarter of the book is the cold war (against which much of this activity was taking place, rightly or wrongly) even explicitly mentioned, and summarily dismissed. And Mr. Perkins anti-globalisation worldview and his change to environmentalism (conveniently after his millions were made) assumes that the poor around the world would much rather be living happy stone age existences than be burdened with medicine, progress, jobs, and opportunity. What patronising nonsense. It isn't even written well. A last word on the narration: Brian Emerson is execrable. He has a cadence which makes you wonder if he isn't just a particularly sophisticated computer voice as the emphasis is frequently wrong and it is all reminiscent of a liturgical chant. His pronunciation of non-English words belies the author's stated linguistic abilities and interest in travel. All told, my first (and hopefully only) one star review. Avoid.
The it's an interesting book. The thing that bugs me about it is how it seems that John Perkins is excusing himself with this book, like he didn't know what he was doing but now he does.
The most fun part of the book is when he describes his travels across countries like Panama, Iran, Indonesia and such, then you really listen.
If you want a good book on this subject, try The Shock Doctrine. I recommend it over Confessions of an Economic Hitman
"See world events differently"
I downloaded this book on the recommendation of a tech podcast I listen to called This Week In Tech (sponsored by Audible). I really enjoyed it. You'll question what you hear on the news and what certain countries say in the future and find quite alarming and resonating parallels with some of the events in this book. It's worth it, just to question history.
"What a world we live in"
Everybody should know this. It should change your life and certainly open your eyes.
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