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Hoodwinked: An Economic Hit Man Reveals Why the World Financial Markets Imploded | [John Perkins]

Hoodwinked: An Economic Hit Man Reveals Why the World Financial Markets Imploded

John Perkins has seen the signs of today's economic meltdown before. The subprime mortgage fiascos, the banking industry collapse, the rising tide of unemployment, the shuttering of small businesses are all too familiar symptoms of a far greater disease. In his former life as an economic hit man, he was on the front lines both as an observer and a perpetrator of events, once confined only to the third world, that have now sent the United States spiraling toward disaster.
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Publisher's Summary

John Perkins has seen the signs of today's economic meltdown before. The subprime mortgage fiascos, the banking industry collapse, the rising tide of unemployment, the shuttering of small businesses across the landscape are all too familiar symptoms of a far greater disease. In his former life as an economic hit man, he was on the front lines both as an observer and a perpetrator of events, once confined only to the third world, that have now sent the United States - and in fact the entire planet - spiraling toward disaster.

Here, Perkins pulls back the curtain on the real cause of the current global financial meltdown. He shows how we've been hoodwinked by the CEOs who run the corporatocracy - those few corporations that control the vast amounts of capital, land, and resources around the globe - and the politicians they manipulate. These corporate fat cats, Perkins explains, have sold us all on what he calls predatory capitalism, a misguided form of geopolitics and capitalism that encourages a widespread exploitation of the many to benefit a small number of the already very wealthy. Their arrogance, gluttony, and mismanagement have brought us to this perilous edge. The solution is not a "return to normal". But there is a way out.

As Perkins makes clear, we can create a healthy economy that will encourage businesses to act responsibly, not only in the interests of their shareholders and corporate partners (and the lobbyists they have in their pockets), but in the interests of their employees, their customers, the environment, and society at large.

We can create a society that fosters a just, sustainable, and safe world for us and our children. Each one of us makes these choices every day, in ways that are clearly spelled out in this book. "We hold the power", he says, "if only we recognize it."

Hoodwinked is a powerful polemic that shows not only how we arrived at this precarious point in our history but also what we must do to stop the gl...

©2009 John Perkins; (P)2009 Random House

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  •  
    BruceK Palo Alto, CA, United States 02-20-12
    BruceK Palo Alto, CA, United States 02-20-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Concise world view by very problematic author"

    In a way I feel hoodwinked by the author now that I have read his 3 major books because they all say the same thing in a long and drawn out way … and I have to say if you want to buy one of these books get the last ones and skip paying money for repetition.

    I believe Perkins describes the world of the "corporatocracy" as he sees it and has apparently experienced it well. It seems to make sense and be consistent.

    My problem is Perkins himself. Here is a guy who has everything, he operated as a self-described hit man (economic) for some long amount of time, enough to amass a lot of wealth, power and a network, and only then he turned on his masters and his way of life and wrote a rather superficial expose. Perkins has his cake and eats it too. What did he really do, and what is he holding back? He must have lots of "EHM" connections around the world whose stories he could add to his books,and describe more of how this corporatocracy works instead of handwaving.

    Certainly the names are changed, and the story rings enough true that he does not have to get, nor does he get very specific about much that he writes about. Towards the end almost in order to avoid being specific he starts to get new-agey about the whole subject and has in fact apparently written books about shape-shifting, turning into animals or existing on the spirtual plane … which seems to me to appeal to a certain kind of not very analytic reader. It seems that is the audience he is aiming for … the folks who are not very analytical or logical. Do a search on Google for blogs where his stuff gets mentioned and you can see what I mean. If this guy was really who and what he claimed I would think he could appeal to a more intellectual crowd.

    So as I read Perkins' books I am stuck in uncertainty of the value of reading the book. Although most of the ideas Perkins discusses I knew about from reading political books for a long time, Perkins gets away with really doing very little work except storytelling in all of this books. Perkins feels like a con man to me and that is my problem with his books and his ideas. I think there is much more depth and more hidden agenda here than Perkins lets on, and he carefully truncates any mention of anything beyond the simplistic ideas he sells sensationalistically.

    Does he get specific, no. Perkins is just another voice in the wilderness among many people who profit from all these awful things by writing about them, but what is he doing about except taking trips all over the world with celebrities and playing both sides of the issue. That does not help anything, and nothing in the books really explains how to change things.

    Maybe he is even right about things, there is nothing else to do but join em if you can't beat em, but I don't think Perkins' books do much other than add to the author's celebrity and bank account.

    If you are unfamiliar with Perkins' ideas and feel you have to know what he is all about I would just recommend reading whatever his latest book it, aside from the new age books on spirituality, because if you've read one you've read them all, and they do get better as he writes more. I am sure he will keep at it and maybe even hopefully really pull back the curtain and what is going on and the big plan for the world and who is driving it where, or he could just keep churning our retreads.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Douglas Austin, TX, United States 01-12-12
    Douglas Austin, TX, United States 01-12-12 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Society is not an Elaborate Hoax"

    First off, I want to sincerely thank John for his other books, namely, 'Confessions of an Economic Hitman' and 'The Secret History of the American Empire.' But, here is where I must bid adieu to his understanding of reality. We all hate the dark underbelly of civilization. John blames America and capitalism. However, in his quest to form a coherent alternative to modern society, his book spirals out into a delusional utopia.

    Folks, if you loved his book, then it's because you have a big heart and for that I won't blame you. However, please realize where this line of thinking really takes you. The alternative to money and voluntary trade....is brute force. Societies that reject money have not found a better way to value human action. Good will? Power and force ALWAYS fill the vacuum and become the currency. Then human beings are DEVALUED as a result.

    John sympathizes with Somali pirates and finds terrorism excusable. John applauds South American efforts to give plants equal rights with human beings enforceable by law. John torpedoes Bill Gates and other wealthy philanthropists as frauds (their charity doesn't count because their are capitalists). John admires authoritarian China where diversity is buried beneath a billion people of a single race. In the end, I hear John's invocation of human passion...something that sounds wonderful, but historically has served as an excuse to reject rationality in order to use FORCE against those you oppose.

    Yes, as our world becomes more complex, the less we will understand all the moving parts. We all wake up, look out our window, and see the world in a snapshot. We see bad things and want to change them. But I beg intelligent people everywhere, do not embrace primitivism as this book suggests.

    We're not being 'hoodwinked'...we are part of a global civilization than John has clearly rejected.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John United States 04-23-13
    John United States 04-23-13 Member Since 2008

    kalevr1

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Rambling, Pontificating, Manifesto"

    This book was an exhausting look at a man on a soap box waxing eloquently philosophical about American foreign and domestic policy. With an opening sentence like the one I just typed, you might think that I disagreed with the author. On the contrary, I agreed with almost every view he expresses in this book but having read "Confessions of an Economic Hitman" just a couple of weeks ago I can tell you that, that book is all you really need.

    The first third of this book is a recap of "Confessions..." mentioned above. The second third is filled with anecdotes like (I'm paraphrasing), 'When I went to China the MBA students knew so much more than ours...', When I was in Ecuador I met people who understood nature...' The rest of the book degenerates into well-worded fluff with lots of statements like, 'We've got to reign in...', 'We the people have the power to...', 'Governments must tackle climate change...' and on and on,,,

    I've never before been so thoroughly disappointed listening to something I agreed with entirely. If you are a Progressive, you could buy this book just to hear someone say all the things you've always wanted to hear--or--you can read something that provides evidence to go along with the words because this book provides no evidence at all for the opinions expressed within. It's like a candy bar. It provides a burst of energy that seems filling but is lacking in real substance.

    My compliments to the narrator though. He did a miraculous job, all things considered.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth STANFORD, CA, United States 03-24-13
    Elizabeth STANFORD, CA, United States 03-24-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Redundant and rambling"
    Would you try another book from John Perkins and/or David Ackroyd?

    Read "Confessions..." if you haven't -- it's amazing! This book repeats that one and preaches as well. I hate to give JP a bad review. I've met him and I think he is an inspiring, genuine and truly good and great person -- I just wish I hadn't spent my monthly credit on this book that doesn't really add anything new to "Confessions" -- plus I already share a worldview with JP -- therefore, listening to him preach the basics of responsible consumership and criminal corporate-government behavior, etc., made me wonder who the audience for this book was supposed to be and if that was a muddled concept. I was expecting more detail into the 2008 crisis but JP only goes over that in broad strokes and briefly.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Framer711 05-19-12
    Framer711 05-19-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
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    "Left open minded"
    Where does Hoodwinked rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It's a good book. Shows that the invisible hand is a work...the people behind the Goverment though. A little preachy at the end but the guy is passionate.


    What did you like best about this story?

    A lot of truth.


    Have you listened to any of David Ackroyd’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doug Austin, TX 01-12-12
    Doug Austin, TX 01-12-12 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    297
    ratings
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    211
    46
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    20
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    "Society is not an Elaborate Hoax"

    First off, I want to sincerely thank John for his other books, namely, 'Confessions of an Economic Hitman' and 'The Secret History of the American Empire.' But, here is where I must bid adieu to his understanding of reality. We all hate the dark underbelly of civilization. John blames America and capitalism. However, in his quest to form a coherent alternative to modern society, his book spirals out into a delusional utopia.

    Folks, if you loved his book, then it's because you have a big heart and for that I won't blame you. However, please realize where this line of thinking really takes you. The alternative to money and voluntary trade....is brute force. Societies that reject money have not found a better way to value human action. Good will? Power and force ALWAYS fill the vacuum and become the currency. Then human beings are DEVALUED as a result.

    John sympathizes with Somali pirates and finds terrorism excusable. John applauds South American efforts to give plants equal rights with human beings enforceable by law. John torpedoes Bill Gates and other wealthy philanthropists as frauds (their charity doesn't count because their are capitalists). John admires authoritarian China where diversity is buried beneath a billion people of a single race. In the end, I hear John's invocation of human passion...something that sounds wonderful, but historically has served as an excuse to reject rationality in order to use FORCE against those you oppose.

    Yes, as our world becomes more complex, the less we will understand all the moving parts. We all wake up, look out our window, and see the world in a snapshot. We see bad things and want to change them. But I beg intelligent people everywhere, do not embrace primitivism as this book suggests.

    We're not being 'hoodwinked'...we are part of a global civilization than John has clearly rejected.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christina Dover plains, NY, United States 07-02-10
    Christina Dover plains, NY, United States 07-02-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "when will we wake up"

    I have read bits and peaces about the corporate crap Perkins is pointing to but this is the most frank discussion I have seen except for Nom Chomsky's work.

    5 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    10-23-10
    10-23-10 Member Since 2010

    thomas_hermansen

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I have been hoodwinked into buying this book."

    This book is a strange attack and demonization of American business, with some great logical fallacies.
    Bill Gates is demonized and it is stated that his technology and the way his kind of business has done nothing but increase the distance between rich and poor. He is proclaimed a ruthless billionaire and representing a world view that cannot solve the problems of our time. This shows extreme lack of knowledge of what Bill Gates has done with his fortune.

    The author considers the Gilded Age of American economy as the darkest chapters of American history, and characters like Andrew Carnegie is presented as evil barons which stole their wealth from the people. Anyone who has read his biography or "Gospel of Wealth" sees how the author has lack of knowledge of Carnegie.

    He then states that China's type of Capitalism is better since it is directed from above and has produced great growth in China for the past decades. Yet the problem with West is that there is too little political direction from the people.

    What he describes is China???s version of the Gilded Age. What was wrong for the US 150 years ago is suddenly very right for China today. No other country produces billionaires in the same tempo as China. American billionaires are evil, while Chinese ones seem to be OK.
    He then attributes the economic meltdown to Westerners buying useless trinkets, but is this not the reason why China has benefited the last decades? If the West had not done this, then China would not have grown their production capacity and he would not have been able to use China as the solution; A complete logical fallacy.

    His way of describing historic events is extremely simplistic and based on popular myths. I had just read ???The Persian Night??? by Amir Taheri prior to listening to this book, and that really contrasts this author???s simplistic view of global politics.

    Simplistic politics and simplistic economics, used to create our present western system as modern day boogieman.

    11 of 27 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kemper United States 10-01-12
    Kemper United States 10-01-12
    ratings
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    "Hoodwinked is what our government has done to us."
    If you could sum up Hoodwinked in three words, what would they be?

    Very good


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Hoodwinked?

    The corruption of governments including the us.


    What does David Ackroyd bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Puts life to the story.


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    The deception of the American people.


    Any additional comments?

    Wake up to who is really running the Our Government.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-9 of 9 results
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  • Ffion
    Halifax, United Kingdom
    2/16/12
    Overall
    "Fantastic Book"

    This is a fantastic book that has completely changed the way I see the world. Although a "heavy" concept, I found the book really good to listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jakob
    Skanderborg, Denmark
    12/2/11
    Overall
    "Hot air and little else"

    Comes of as a manifesto, for Perkins' vision of a world were everybody behaves in a socially responsible way, more than a revelation of what led to the current credit crisis. Most of the book is about how the world would be better if we were all willing to pay a little more for our sneakers.

    I also had a problem with the narrator, who has a nice soothing voice, that is easy to listen to. Sadly he is so easy on the ears, that I tended to drift off while listening and start thinking about grocery shopping etc.

    I all the book is a bit of a let down, if you are looking for a 9 hour economic ideollogy, it is fine otherwise find something else

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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