We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
 >   > 
The Secret History of the American Empire Audiobook

The Secret History of the American Empire

In The Secret History of the American Empire, Perkins zeroes in on hot spots around the world and, drawing on interviews with other hit men, jackals, reporters, and activists, examines the current geopolitical crisis. Instability is the norm; it's clear that the world we've created is dangerous and no longer sustainable. How did we get here? Who's responsible? What good have we done and at what cost? And what can we do to change things for the next generations?
Regular Price:$31.50
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

In his stunning memoir, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, John Perkins detailed his former role as an "hit man" operating within the international corporate skullduggery of a de facto American Empire. That riveting, behind-the-scenes exposé unfolded like a cinematic blockbuster told through the eyes of a man who once helped shape that empire.

Now, in The Secret History of the American Empire, Perkins zeroes in on hot spots around the world and, drawing on interviews with other hit men, jackals, reporters, and activists, examines the current geopolitical crisis. Instability is the norm; it's clear that the world we've created is dangerous and no longer sustainable. How did we get here? Who's responsible? What good have we done and at what cost? And what can we do to change things for the next generations? Addressing these questions and more, Perkins reveals the secret history behind the events that have created the American Empire.

From the U.S. military in Iraq to infrastructure development in Indonesia, from Peace Corps volunteers in Africa to jackals in Venezuela, Perkins exposes a conspiracy of corruption that has fueled instability and anti-Americanism around the globe. Alarming yet hopeful, this book provides a compassionate plan for reimagining our world.

©2007 John Perkins; (P)2007 Penguin Audio, a member of Penguin Group (USA), Inc. All rights reserved.

What the Critics Say

"A sweeping, bold assault on the tyranny of corporate globalization, full of drama and adventure, with devastating stories of greed run wild. But Perkins is undaunted, and offers imaginative ideas for a different world." (Howard Zinn, author of A People's History of the United States)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (353 )
5 star
 (153)
4 star
 (101)
3 star
 (62)
2 star
 (23)
1 star
 (14)
Overall
4.2 (94 )
5 star
 (48)
4 star
 (25)
3 star
 (12)
2 star
 (7)
1 star
 (2)
Story
4.3 (92 )
5 star
 (46)
4 star
 (27)
3 star
 (16)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (0)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Michael Bayside, NY, USA 02-17-09
    Michael Bayside, NY, USA 02-17-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "A good read"

    The first part of the book is basically a rehash of "Confessions.." with a tad more detail. Nonetheless, its a good read and important documentation of our true history.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Harry Santa Cruz, CA, USA 08-17-07
    Harry Santa Cruz, CA, USA 08-17-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Excellent - buy it now!"

    I found this book a fascinating sequel to John Perkins "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man." "Secret History" includes more detailed information about the whys and hows of the urgent need to challenge the drift of modern life. (I liked the reader, too. He did a great job,subtly and miraculously assuming several foreign accents-CORRECTLY!)

    Rather than bestsellers on how to manipulate the modern US lifestyle to best achieve Hedon, narcissistic, material comfort and that relegate those who don't aspire to such as "losers," this book deals with the scary side of realness.

    Perkins presents fascinating insights into the mentality of other EHM's (many who seem to have sought him out after his first book came out)whose consciences are throbbing. Though Perkins presents some titillating insights into lives of the rich and powerful -like the parts about geishas--it's clear that's never the underlying point. His analysis always comes down on the side of the historical underdog. He also points out how the exploited are not unaware of their plight, and often see the bigger picture faster and clearer than those who are living the privileged life on a daily basis. I like how he included historical anecdotes to connect present with past.

    Perkins gives a few suggestions for action that I personally found useful, and have followed up on. I felt hopeless after reading "Confessions." After "Secret History" I realized that powerful men engaged in destructive decision-making will at very least sometimes listen to other men they think they respect, and who may be able to successfully present them with either new perceptions, or with more real assessments of their impact. I think Riane Eisler' new book about broadening the definition of the current concept of "economics" would compliment this book well.

    I hope for more from John Perkins! And I hope more like him will write the hidden histories that account for the mess we are in.

    21 of 26 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christina Dover plains, NY, United States 08-06-10
    Christina Dover plains, NY, United States 08-06-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Somewhat repititious of economic hitman"

    As with his other books Perkins discribes how uncontrolled corporate power backed up by CIA and military have created an economic empire. Repeats many of the themes of confessions of an economic hitman. Whats new here is suggestion about what we can do to change the ssytem and what has been done by NGO's etc. I think Oliver Stone could combine the books and make a worthwhile movie.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ellen Kansas City, MO, United States 03-02-09
    Ellen Kansas City, MO, United States 03-02-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    161
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    105
    38
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    9
    0
    Overall
    "Life-changing"

    One of the best books I ever listened to, even though it is not about mellifluous prose or any literary devices. It is even better than Confessions of an Economic Hitman. Read this today and get your eyes opened. Once you know what really goes on you can not go back to your illusions.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chi-Hung Riverside, CA, USA 11-23-09
    Chi-Hung Riverside, CA, USA 11-23-09 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    590
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    239
    104
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    34
    0
    Overall
    "Interesting but poorly substentiated"

    As a left leaning liberal, I found this book interesting, there are some truth in the book, such as the negative effect of US agricultural subsidy on African farmers and the length US goes to for national interest, however, the book ran away with accusation with clandestine operations that made James Bonds seem like angels of moderation. I agree with his moral conclusion, but for a academic polemic, it needs more substantiated proof.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Benedict 07-04-12
    Benedict 07-04-12 Member Since 2016

    Benedict

    HELPFUL VOTES
    160
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    273
    36
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    12
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good enough but ... listen to Confessions first"

    This books seems like a rewrite of Confessions of an Economic Hitman.

    I highly recommend that book over this. Confessions of an Economic Hitman is one of the most important books ever written to explain how the world really, really works.

    The author is one of the guys who really did the stuff that makes other nations refer to us as "Damn Yankees." Author Perkins had his feet on the ground and tells us the words and daily activities he used to break the economies of many contries around the world.

    He was there during the Arab Embargo in the early 1970s and was helpful in solving that problem. The solution is astonishing even today.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jerry North Brunswick, NJ, United States 02-21-10
    Jerry North Brunswick, NJ, United States 02-21-10 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    75
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Eye opening, exciting, outstanding, and SAD"

    Everyone in America should read this book. Changed the way I fundamentally looked at things. Whether your conservative or liberal this book has value to what America has been and may be.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elton Los angeles, CA, United States 08-02-07
    Elton Los angeles, CA, United States 08-02-07

    I teach Business, Economics, and English at a university in Tokyo. My interests are in politics, economics, and philosophy. I hold a BA in English Literature, and an MA in Political Science.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    192
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    348
    28
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    5
    1
    Overall
    "Nothing New"

    I am not exactly sure why Mr. Perkins found it necessary to write this volume. His Economic Hitman book pretty much covered everything he talked about here. There was a spattering of additions from a couple of outside people, whom are rarely, if ever, identified. There are a couple of extra stories, but if you read/listened to his previous book you are not much surprised by anything offered here.
    One tip though, high class Filipino prostitutes in Indonesia are not geisha...they may call themselves geisha, but they are better explained as high class prostitutes. My friends here in Japan were quite confused when I talked to them about that passage.

    11 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan 09-04-15
    Jonathan 09-04-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Very Good Very Important Book"

    Everyone should give this book a read or a listen. It is so very enlightening, motivating and terrifying all at the same time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan Usher 05-27-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Captivating from start to finish"

    Great history lesson you won't hear anywhere else. Explains the problems with american lead globalization and the solutions.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.