Confessions Of an Economic Hit Man

Hardcover | December 15, 2004

byJohn Perkins

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Economic hit men are highly paid professionals who cheat countries out of trillions of dollars. They funnel World Bank, government and foreign aid funds into the coffers of international businesses and a few wealthy families. Their tools include fraudulent financial reports, rigged elections, payoffs, extortion and murder.John Perkins was one of these hit men, and his first-hand account contains explosive revelations on Asian, Middle Eastern and Latin American hotspots. He discloses the clandestine support received by Osama bin Laden as well as little-known facts about the relationship between the two most powerful dynasties in the world: the Bush family and the House of Saud. Confessions is a riveting book that reads like a classic spy novel.

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Economic hit men are highly paid professionals who cheat countries out of trillions of dollars. They funnel World Bank, government and foreign aid funds into the coffers of international businesses and a few wealthy families. Their tools include fraudulent financial reports, rigged elections, payoffs, extortion and murder.John Perkins ...

John Perkins began writing Confessions of an Economic Hit Man several times during the past two decades only to be persuaded to stop by lucrative business offers contingent upon his silence. "Now," he says, "we have entered the new millennium. Nine-eleven happened. "

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:9.25 × 6.13 × 1.03 inPublished:December 15, 2004Publisher:Berrett-Koehler PublishersLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1576753018

ISBN - 13:9781576753019

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Customer Reviews of Confessions Of an Economic Hit Man


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Astonishing If there were ever a tale about how empires are built this would be the tale above all. This is said to be a a gripping tell-all book and in honesty, if it is true, it tells it all. The author has written an amazing book about corporate espionage, extortion, exploitation and much more all in the name of building an empire. If it is not true it is still a fantastic read. I highly recommend it to anyone and in particular, those looking to think deeper about the world we live in and the information that is pushed to us everyday through media outlets all in the name of journalism. No matter what level of reading you are at, this story applies to the American world and globalization of our economies as we know it. I will say, I am a tad bit skeptical on how much is true, but once you have read it, the stories (or contracts) are undeniably close to what we know politics to be today. This book validated all my concerns and skepticisms around media and politicians and how greedy people really are. If it's not true, it's still an entertaining read that questions the reader on what you know and where your morals lie.
Date published: 2011-02-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Confession Worth Hearing John Perkins' book deserves to be the bestseller it is. It is a personal and engaging account of his time as an Economic Hit Man (EHM), ensnaring unsuspecting or corrupt developing countries with excessive development loans that serve (American) foreign interests more than they serve the borrowers'. The book weaves together the author's personal details and not infrequent philosophizing with his active roles in several historically important global events: from the US turnover of the Panama Canal to the deposing of the Shah of Iran to the financing of Osama bin Laden. It will be of interest to students of history, foreign policy, economics, as well as those interested in a good, peripatetic yarn. Confessions of an Economic Hit Man will make many readers pause and think differently about familiar global events; this is truly a different viewpoint than most readers will get through mainstream media, one that's both personal and insightful. We are used to foreign policy executed by direct force or through diplomatic overtures; we are less used to viewing development aid delivered through the World Bank as an American tool to endebt and enslave the populations of the developing world. Many have written about the problems with US hegemony, but invariably from an academic standpoint or by weaving together facts and opinions to try to make a point (e.g. Naomi Klein in Shock Doctrine). As much as there is to commend this book, it is not without flaws. Perkins' story is interesting, but his style lacks the flourish or wit of the best writers. As well, Perkins spends a bit too much time musing about the ethics of his and others' actions. Some of the narrative either lacks essential details or is too farfetched to be believable. For example, during his initial training for employment as an EHM, Perkins is tutored by a mysterious woman working not for his employer but seemingly directly for the government or a government agency. This is the stuff of spy novels, but in spy novels there is usually an explanation at somepoint. Even after Perkins has risen to the most senior of ranks in his firm, he still sheds no light on his employer's mysterious links to EHM trainers. This book is striking and memorable in that it is completely different than other conspiracy theory book. It is thought provoking and fresh, and is more likely than many other similar themed books to get readers thinking about the balance and exercise of power amongst nations.
Date published: 2010-03-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hitman turned activist This is another of several books in the last decade written by an insider of the US establishment exposing a culture and practices of maintaining American preeminence. I found Perkins' account particularly interesting because he claims to have been involved in so many countries, identifying many people and firms along the way in his nefarious associations. He clearly prospered from his Hitman career, and there is an element, I think a major one at that, of catharsis and remorse in writing this book. Noting that some critical reviews have challenged the extent to his claims, I think accounts like these are important because without them we would only have suspicians and ignorance, and with them we have specific pieces to build a general picture for ourselves of how events seem to happen, and not always by chance. Perkins became an unabashed activist against the big establishment and he ends with an impassioned call of action to the reader, a kind of Paul Revere of today. This is a well written book, well-paced, very personal, with colour, and with sufficient detail to connect the dots of this world Perkins is describing. I highly recommend it.
Date published: 2009-02-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Recommended and Thought Provoking Perkins soul searching back flips are more drama than reality because his ultimate financial security is always the motivation. Much of the information he presents on the network of governments, banks and corporations, the "corporatocracy" has been published in news journals. However, the compilation of these scenarios provokes one's thoughts and analysis of the current state of global financial systems and national economies, including Canada's resource based economy. Canada is not mentioned but one only need project the methods of operation described by Perkins to understand our situation. I strongly suggest Canadians read more books, such as this, describing the expansion of global economic empires to understand the options for our country.
Date published: 2008-12-29
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Confessions of a boring hit man? If the life of an economic hit man (EHM) is as boring as this book, it is little wonder John Perkins ached to get out. This book is really an act of contrition from a man obsessed with his own financial position. If you are looking to be informed about the life of an EHM, or to really understand how and EHM transforms the countries he writes about, you will be left wanting. This book contains so few facts it is rendered useless. Let me cite a perfect example – Saudi Arabia. It is intriguing money was filtered through the U.S Treasury Dept. to build this country. It is also intriguing his often repeated example of garbage collection resulted in the sale of 100 bright new shiny U.S built trucks to the country (we learn that at one time in Saudi Arabia, goats cleaned the streets). But that’s where it ends – no more information – there are absolutely no facts on the scope of U.S. corporate greed or how the country was transformed, although we can use our imagination, but that is not why I bought this book. An interesting statistic to illustrate just how glossed over this book is maybe found in the number of separate chapters this book contains – a full 35 chapters in 259 pages, or about 7.4 pages per chapter. The Publisher sells this book by stating “this extraordinary true story exposes international intrigue, corruption, and little-known government and corporate activities that have dire consequences for American democracy and the world.” This is deceiving and misleading. Any web search will give you in 30 seconds what his book, by his own admission, took years to write and none of what he writes is earth shattering. Well, and by his own admission he is a bit late now, what he writes about is now common knowledge these days and perhaps his only mistake was not writing this 20 years ago, but that would have taken him away from the money he was earning, his sailboats and his five star hotels. Clearly Perkins wrote this book out of some guilt complex that resides somewhere in his conscious. He lays the foundation for this guilt from his very first experience as an EHM but his guilt ridden anxieties are not believable. Certainly he had an epiphany during his quest to satisfy corporate greed but at what point it happened is rather debatable as this book is simply too shallow, poorly written and lacks the intensity of someone who harbored a lifelong anxiety about the work he was performing. Ironically, and this is a coincidence that usurps the many he writes about in this book, I own another of his books, “Psychonavigation, Techniques for Travel Beyond Time.” When I read this tome I was baffled by its shallowness and lack of detail and it quickly became a door stop so it comes as no surprise his book about his life as an EHM is equally shallow. My only mistake was not remembering his name when I was rushing through the airport looking for reading material and stumbled across what I thought would be a book of intrigue about the shadowy world of an EHM. Basically, Perkins writes at first year university level and with the true facts he apparently has at hand as an EHM, he could have made this book much more exciting and stimulating. The lack of facts, comparative analyses and useful information relegates this book one of the many philosophical sections of your book store and at that, it is shallow and tepid.
Date published: 2007-08-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Global Transformation Confessions of An Economic Hit Man is one insiders view of how the global empire has successfully created itself to keep the cycle of U.S. wealth, self serving. John Perkins has found the courage to share this dark past in hopes that it is not too late for us to change our dreams and re-shape with immediacy, the future direction of this planet. Those who express disdain or lack of evidence of this greedy global game have clearly missed the point. John Perkins offers the reader an informative and enticing journey through the shifty ways of economic and political manipulation of how the U.S. moves into less developed countries, depleting the resources and leaving them with unpayable debt loads. Caught within the web himself, this book clearly calls attention to our individual responsibilities in our daily actions, no matter what we do or where we live. What I find so courageous about this book is John Perkins had clearly shape shifted himself away from the greedy world of EHMs into a life of helping indigenous peoples in the world: specifically the Shuar of the Amazon. In unveiling these hidden dark truths, he is now fully owning his past actions. It is with this level of accountability that we are able to create new openings for global transformation. This book is about the game of the global empire but behind this it is about changing our dreams. It is a wake up call to change our intentions. It is deeply concerned for the future. Simply put... it is about caring for the world's children, every one of them, today.
Date published: 2004-11-30