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Publisher's Summary

This is the inside story of how America turned from a respected republic into a feared empire.

"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

What members say

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  • Overall
  • Elliot
  • Lethbridge, AB, Canada
  • 04-09-08

An insight on how the world goes round.

This was a great book front to back. It really had quite a bit of "story" with the details of the job mixed in. It was a medium easy read for me and the job of an Economic hitman will give you insight on how the global economy is as dangerous and cut throat as the seediest black market.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

fascinating, important, hard to listen to

an eye-opening look at how the american government and corporatocracy dominate (or attempts to dominate) the world. should be required reading for all high school students, if for no other reason than to present another side of american foreign policy, and possibly some clues as to why other countries hate the U.S. so much.

i did get tired of Perkins' continual regrets about his work - he definitely seems to have written this book to clear his conscience as much as he did to help people understand the concept of economic hitmen, and how they're hurting other people in the world for the sake of greed. he just couldn't let his personal guilt go, and chapter after chapter he laments his role in creating the world in which we now live. but it's still a great book, and well worth the listen.

my only other complaint is the narrator, who comes off sounding hokey and pretentious and made the book downright awful to listen to. he does Perkins' book a huge disservice - I mean, come on, nobody talks like that, except maybe Ted Knight as the narrator on SuperFriends.

I struggled through the first few chapters trying not to laugh at how ridiculous he sounded. But was finally able to adjust after a couple hours. I still think it's worth a listen - or just buy the printed book. I also strongly recommend Perkins have someone else read the book again if possible - even himself.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Fascinating, scary, and thought-provoking

A fascinating book, well-written, and scary, particularly given our current state of affairs. It should be mandatory reading for every MBA,politics, and economics student. Well-read, well-paced, and very thought-provoking.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Eye Opener

Confessions of an Economic Hitman is an extremely interesting and eye-opening book. It gave me insights into ecomonimc development (and entrapment) that were completely new to me. It permanantly skewed how I will see and understand economic "progress," and my views on how many things are truly influenced and controlled by forces that are often unseen.

In all honesty, it is a little long in places, but I think that this comes from having false expectations; I guess I was expecting a book with "hitman" in the title to have more hitting.

Economics and foreign involvment is boring to a lot of people; it's interesting to me, and I'd recommend the book the anyone else who is interested as well.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Ayax
  • san francisco, CA, USA
  • 04-30-06

who will listen

but what is most important is who will act. NO doubt this book leans on the liberal side for now a days a policy or train of thought that seems not to agree with war and demands us to take a harsh look at our foreign policy is called "liberal propaganda". However the fact is that our present economic policies and the narrative of John Perkins seem to be coliding and it is difficult not to ask ourselves how far have we gone to control more of the planets resources and at what expense. One thing to remember is that human wants are limitless while our resources are not, in fact you can ask any Economics professor and he/she will tell you that the aforementioned statement is the basis of Economics.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Carl
  • West Palm Beach, FL, United States
  • 02-24-06

Important Book

Sure the book is not perfect and I don't always agree with the authors conclusions yet the work is sound, true, and important. The one negative review that I read didn't find fault with the facts but only that the author was against globalization (suggesting he must be a looney because he was not a blind faith member of the GOP). In truth the author says no such thing. He is against the term, not the concept, when it is used as an excuse to interfere and manipulate third world cultures, governments, and people.

The reader is not the best but the words are so strong you don't need a very good one.

Finally the author gets religion, so to speak, but one doesn't need religion to realize that what he talks about is evil and wrong. Also what he describes we do in the name of Democracy and Capitalism is neither and should not be tolerated.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Gene
  • San Francisco, CA, USA
  • 01-24-06

The truth hurts

Whatever the shortcomings in literary skill, any work that exposes corruption deserves 5 stars. It's the least I can do.

If you live in Disney lala land, you will hate this book. If you're already a cynic, this book will only add to your dour outlook on life.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Matt
  • Thornhill, Ontario, Canada
  • 09-06-05

Great Insights into well known events

Fictious? Don't think so. The author provides a colorful background and insight into some economic and political assaults by the US Government on the rest of the world. People outside the US know that the info in this book is common knowledge. I hope one day more Americans will read books like this that expose the real intentions for their government's actions since WW2.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Chris
  • Orinda, CA, USA
  • 10-22-07

I had no idea

"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.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Kim
  • Roselle, IL, USA
  • 11-26-08

This book rocks.....

I very much enjoyed this book, It was suggested to be by someone who just got done reading it himself and I finished it just in time for the 2008 presidental election. This book will open your mind about the world as a whole and may even change some minds about how to look foward and not dwell on the past. Great read.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful