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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for every human-being
One of greatest books written about the empire building. It'll just make you wake up and look around understand where we are heading as a society. Instead of brushing everything off as a conspiracy theory it's time to rise up and ask the right questions. John Perkins has put his life online by exposing the truth. I just hope more people read it and take some action to...
Published on March 8 2005

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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Information-lite and fairly empty
The general thesis of this book, while interesting, is not nearly as informative as it should be. The idea of colonialisation by economics has been apparent to many of those who pay attention to U.S. foreign policy for any length of time, and the author doesn't really do much to add to the notion other than to say, "I did it".
Beyond that, it seems a...
Published on Feb. 12 2006


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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for every human-being, March 8 2005
By A Customer
One of greatest books written about the empire building. It'll just make you wake up and look around understand where we are heading as a society. Instead of brushing everything off as a conspiracy theory it's time to rise up and ask the right questions. John Perkins has put his life online by exposing the truth. I just hope more people read it and take some action to make this world better for everyone to live.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I have ever read, Sept. 9 2011
This review is from: Confessions of an Economic Hit Man (Paperback)
This book is a must for anyone interested in knowing the truth between developed vs developing world and how the Americans are treating other countries as just means to achieve their own ends. Now the information is out in the open, it is time America treats others with respect to build a better world for our children.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent balance between personal story and history, March 29 2005
This book is at once an autobiography, a 20th century history of America and a call to action. These elements are balanced very well with a very readable narrative style.
The history in this book is somewhat controversial. It is the less-shiny aspects of history which may or may not be taught in US schools (I will not make assumptions here), but which is easily accessible if one only looks for it. It is also quite well-documented and supported by evidence. Perkins discusses American corporate and governmental involvement with Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Nicaragua, Panama, Ecuador and many other nations from a first hand perspective.
What is interesting is that we see this history as the setting for a very personal story, through the eyes of a participant. As the title suggests, it is in fact a confession. Perkins was an important player in some of the darker aspects of subtle non-governmental foreign policy, and he is not an apologist.
He shows a little bit of the psychology of people who commit evil acts on behalf of organizations to which they belong. For example, structures set up to do harm can generally find people with the personality characteristics that can be capitalized upon - greed, ambition, etc. What this means is, rather than simply provoking hate towards individuals who are perpetuating exploitation, Perkins reveals the underlying broader issues, such as the consequences of the misuse of power and profit. I think he very effectively places the specifics of historical facts (as well as his story) in context in a way that historical texts typically do not.
Although it is not a prescriptive book as such, Perkins does offer some ideas and suggestions at the end as to what individuals can do if they believe in trying to ameliorate the situation he has presented.
I found it to be both a compelling page turner and very factual at the same time. Highly recommended for the history buff, social activist, avid biography reader, news junkie, or really anyone who cares about the world we live in.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly useful and enlightening book, Jan. 15 2014
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This review is from: Confessions of an Economic Hit Man (Paperback)
This book provides incredible insight into the world we live in and how the leaders we think are in charge are actually puppets themselves. Brilliantly written from someone who did the dirty deeds back in the day.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The truth is finally coming out., Oct. 5 2013
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This review is from: Confessions of an Economic Hit Man (Paperback)
Concise, to the point. An easy read. This book confirms the so called "conspiracy theories" about global economic domination. It'll never get old.
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4.0 out of 5 stars How Perkins' job was to coerce national leaders to allow the "corporatocracy" to plunder their country's resources, Sept. 4 2013
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Perkins confirms your worst suspicions that the world is actually run by the "corporatocracy", as he calls it. He explains that a small group of elite American and UK banksters, who directly or indirectly own or control most of the giant multinational corporations, determine who is allowed to be elected as President of most countries, including America. Their goal is to plunder the resources of the world's resource-rich nations while giving the appearance of "helping" those nations. Perkins job was to persuade the leaders of many nations to allow the plundering of their countries by the corporatocracy using bribes, offers of military equipment and support or outright threats. Leaders who failed to allow the plunder were usually removed from office by the corporatocracy's "jackals" were called in where Perkins' persuasive methods failed. The jackals job was to assassinate the obstinate leaders so that more amenable leaders could be put in place by the corporatocracy.

The book "The Creature From Jekyll Island" by G. Edward Griffin explains how the world's elite banksters have increased their power and control globally since they created the US Federal Reserve in 1913 in order to give themselves the sole authority to print or create electronic US Dollars and thereby indirectly control most of the world's money supply. Griffin's book provides the high level overview of what these elite banksters have done and are doing to Americans and others to strip them of their wealth and turn them into economic serfs of the corporatocracy under a "New World Order" run by them.

Perkins book provides many of the "gruesome" details of the corporatocracy's methods in achieving their goal(s).

Both books are "must reads" if you want to know why your real income has declined over the last 40 years and why it will continue to decline even faster in future years as the corporatocracy nears its ultimate goal; the creation of a New World Order totally dominated by the elite group of banksters who currently run the world surreptitiously.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Information-lite and fairly empty, Feb. 12 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Confessions of an Economic Hit Man (Paperback)
The general thesis of this book, while interesting, is not nearly as informative as it should be. The idea of colonialisation by economics has been apparent to many of those who pay attention to U.S. foreign policy for any length of time, and the author doesn't really do much to add to the notion other than to say, "I did it".
Beyond that, it seems a fairly empty confession, since he seems more than forgiving to himself, given that he worked for 10 years to bleed developing nations to his own, self-acknowledged, accumulation of wealth and status. Then, for 10 years afterwards, he gets paid executive salary to be a 'consultant' for this selfsame company. He lauds himself for creating an alternative fuel company (with no small assistance from the network he's accumulated in his previous career), then sells it for profit to an oil company, using the weak excuse of 'they were going to destroy it all, anyway'.
Finally, he seems upset with the U.S. imperialism, yet is blinded by the myth that it was ever otherwise, that the break from England was a moral good, as opposed to a decision to determine and control their own taxation levels and establish independent businesses.
It will impress those who are anti-capitalist, but not those who are into complexity.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Development Project Salesman Struggles with Conscience, July 15 2006
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 122,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Confessions of an Economic Hit Man (Paperback)
Many of my friends and clients regularly travel to dozens of countries. Seldom does such a trip end without finding a weird example of a so-called economic development that has been funded by the World Bank or some other economic development agency. One of my favorite loony examples is a multi-hundred-million-dollar paper mill built high in the Andes far from any trees that can be used to make good paper and the water that is needed to make paper. What were they thinking about when this project was authorized and built? Perhaps the purpose wasn't to make paper.

In this memoir, John Perkins describes his covert role in expanding American economic influence by encouraging foreign governments to take on so-called development projects that they didn't need, couldn't afford and which wouldn't pay off for them. When the bill came due, the nations couldn't pay the loans and Uncle Sam was able to muscle the countries for concessions that independent countries probably wouldn't otherwise have made. Panama and Ecuador are the best developed examples in this scenario in the book.

Mr. Perkins performed this role ably on behalf of Boston-based engineering and construction firm by creating inflated estimates of the economic benefits of potential projects. In part, this wasn't hard to do because he didn't have the educational background to do the work correctly. But no one in his firm cared. His career advanced because he was so malleable in his upward estimates.

Who benefited? In the short term, such projects create lots of profits for U.S. manufacturers and engineering and construction firms like the one Mr. Perkins worked for and those that have employed so many people in the three Bush administrations (such as Bechtel, Halliburton and the rest of the usual suspects). These projects also help U.S. oil companies get access to new reserves. Wealthy families and politicians in the countries who do the projects often receive hefty amounts for their cooperation.

Who lost? Just about everyone else in those countries. The results described for Ecuador are particularly appalling. Indigenous peoples often suffer the most harm. It can be like when Europeans first moved to the Americas.

Mr. Perkins also makes unsubstantiated statements that if the economic "hit" didn't take the U.S. would follow up with assassins and/or invasions. That part of the case wasn't made effectively in the book. Conspiracy theorists will love the coincidences he describes though.

Mr. Perkins describes in the beginning of the book how he was recruited by the National Security Agency and assumes that either NSA or the CIA was responsible for his training in how to perform his role of overstating economic projections. He offers no verifiable proof that the training he received came from those quarters.

In fact, I found his argument a little strange in this area. In order to encourage him to be irresponsible in making economic projections, he was encouraged to think of himself as an "economic hit man." How is that really the way to encourage a young, idealist person to do the wrong thing? I don't think so. It probably would have made more sense to appeal to his patriotism. I wonder if Mr. Perkins may not have been set up instead by a foreign intelligence operation which wanted Mr. Perkins to eventually repent of his role and share this story. Although I have no proof that this scenario might have occurred, it seems more logical than the story Mr. Perkins assumes is true. If you read the book, decide for yourself what probably happened.

In any event, few readers will approve of the idea that the United States should overtly or covertly encourage countries to make bad public investments in infrastructure projects. This book will be an eye-opener for those who don't realize all of the harm that was done during the 1950s-1970s in this arena. The book itself doesn't provide a thorough look at the practices since then.

With the situation over energy in Ecuador in the balance now, I hope that readers will ask their representatives to look into the role the U.S. has been playing there.

The book isn't a particularly well written one (one of the reasons that I graded it at three stars). The book spends much too much time relating Mr. Perkins' hand-wringing about the ethics of his work over the years. I came away unconvinced about parts of his story. In the places where he describes what's going on as being a short-sighted attempt by his company to make more money, it reads convincingly. Where he ascribes motives to others, the book often doesn't have the proof to make the charges stick. His reasons for waiting so long to protest also seem inadequate to me.

But the real lesson of this book is that we should each examine our consciences about our work . . . and follow the advice of that frontier philosopher, Davy Crockett: "Be sure you're right, then go ahead."
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Insight into Post WWII American Policy, Oct. 11 2008
By 
Patrick Sullivan (Kingston, Ont. Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Confessions of an Economic Hit Man (Paperback)
This book attempts to explain modern American foreign policy. I did not agree with everything Perkins had to say. The book does do a good job of explaining the mismanagement of international agencies like the IMF and World Bank. You also end up realizing just how much spin the media puts on foreign policies issues.
The book starts off a little slow, but ends up turning into quite a page turner.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars John Perkins tells an intriguing story of a man torn, Dec 25 2007
This review is from: Confessions of an Economic Hit Man (Paperback)
John Perkins has written a thrilling endeavor and almost hard to believe is, it's his own true story. From the early sixties to the early eighties John Perkins worked for an international consulting firm where his main job was to convince third world countries to finance infrastructure improvements by taking out loans from the US, World Bank or another source for foreign aid. The money was intended to improve that country's infrastructure and help it to advance socially, technologically, and economically. Perkins and his colleagues engineered the plans that the infrastructure improvements would be done by US companies. So the money would end up mostly back in the US economy and the country would be left in debt. Perkins and his colleagues privately referred to themselves as 'economic hit men'. According to John Perkins, the debt also implies a certain amount of control by whomever had issued the loan in the first place. John Perkins can be melodramatic -- when first recruited by the NSA, he admits that he had visions of a James Bond lifestyle. Repeatedly, he tries to reconstruct his anguish in deciding to quit his job, and he repeatedly goes on about how guiltily he felt over the years..

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man have a up-and-down feel as a result, 'though he really was involved in Indonesia, Panama, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Colombia, Ecuador and more. John Perkins would argue that it's easy to conjure conspiracies, that way, the solution is simply to throw out the bad guys, because the system itself is basically sound. The corporatism is ourselves,we make it happen -- How do you rise up against a system that appears to provide you with your house and car, food and clothes, electricity and health care! Even when you know that the system also creates a world where tens of thousands of people starve to death each day and millions more hate you, or at least hate the policies made by representatives you elected? Raise your consciousness, make your own confession, but then the usual purpose of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man is simply to gain entry to the marketplace of ideas. We have to recognize a problem before we can fix it. Then again, some people refuse to recognize the problem. John Perkins tells an intriguing story of a man torn between his material and occupational success, and his sinking conscience as he is praised and rewarded for his excellence in perpetuating an unjust system. Anyone who wants to better understand the world economy and reasons why the majority of people oppose the current version of economic globalization, this is the book you want.
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Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins (Paperback - Dec 27 2005)
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