Confessions of an Economic Hitman
- Narrated by: Brian Emerson
- Length: 9 hrs and 16 mins
- Unabridged Audiobook
- Release date: 28-04-05
- Language: English
- Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By TheZee on 11-01-16
Filled In So Many Blanks
When l was introduced to this particular work of John Perkins, it piqued my interest immensely. As soon as l heard the first account, l knew that l was lead to a space of truth and truth-seeking.
John Perkins repartee and reality shun through. His soul searching touched me unlike those of the contrived ilk. This book filled in so many blanks for me. The countries l had connected to were victims of the EHMs and all that came with them. l applaud John for his courage. The narrator made this hard story palatable.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
By Jason on 18-04-14
Would you listen to Confessions of an Economic Hitman again? Why?
I'll probably listen to it again, although I got most of it on the first pass.
What did you like best about this story?
It is a tale well told. The writing style is polished and experienced - you can tell this is far from Perkin's first book. It is seldom that I have to draaaaaag myself away from a book, but this one was like that - I found myself stealing minutes to carry on listening. Well explained, never too technical to follow, but also never dull. It really is more like the type of thing we expect from the Graham Green he recounts meeting in the book than a non-fiction tale. It reads like a spy drama, but this mia-culpa is very much an act of confession, a catharsis of some sort.
What about Brian Emerson’s performance did you like?
I enjoyed his style, the moments of real urgency he brought into the telling. I enjoyed his tempo and tone. He did an excellent job.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
None leap to mind - it was all so very compelling.
Any additional comments?
If I was to offer one item of critique, if Perkins was to ever revised this work, I would be very interested to see a slightly wider take on the effects of EHM's on the third world. He takes it all onto his own shoulders, and it is clear makes absolutely NO attempt to share the blame around. Whilst this is humbling and admirable, it is maybe a one-dimensional take on a very complex social interaction. Thomas Malthus' Essay on the Principles of Population would draw a trajectory line on the distribution of finite resources within a society being spread more thinly as the population expands but resources do not. Whilst the EHM's were offering a panacea for that very situation, and promising massive wealth for all yet not delivering on that, would a hypothetical control society not have also become more impoverished without the interventions detailed in the book? It's not to let the EHM off the hook, but to maybe explore that nexus of different vectors happening on a society. Perkins may (with good reason) contend that this would be beyond the scope of the book, and muddy its beautiful clarity, but in some ways the failure to even touch on these considerations is, to my mind at least, an oversight.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Robert P. on 24-06-09
Excellent Story for people have traveled
I listened to the entire story before even looking at the reviews. While I felt the story did repeat a couple of parts and could have been condensed a tiny bit that was not what any of the complaints were even about. As someone who has spent 8 years traveling all over the world with the vast majority of that time being in asia for a large corporation, I can completely buy into most of this book. Given what I have seen and experienced first hand along with the time frame the story takes place it does not seem to be outlandish or unbelievable as was commented. In fact I find the opposite to be true. It explains things to me I have seen in a way that makes sense. I can not confirm that the story is 100% true but it is worth your time to read. It will help you open your mind to outside thought from the mainstream media. I would overall give this a 4* review but I felt it was worthy of the bump due to all the 1* which were based on not even listening to the entire thing.
34 of 35 people found this review helpful
By Michael on 26-07-05
A Textbook History
Not an American textbook, however. Instead, this enlightening and disturbing book relates a history of the world since World War II that demonstrates how the United States has become a new kind of Empire. This Empire is based not on military might -- although as we see in Iraq, this is always an option -- but on the power of giant U.S. engineering, construction and oil corporations to induce nations around the world to borrow heavily from entities like the World Bank and USAID for economic development. Once these nations join the list of debtor nations, these staggering debts are used to get them to accede to a variety of U.S. political and corporate interests.
"Confessions" is John Perkins' personal account of how, as an "Economic Hitman" or EHM, he and others like him spearheaded this new kind of imperialism. The corporations EHM's worked for are almost quasi-governmental and have supplied our government with officials like Dick Cheney (Halliburton), George Schultz and Caspar Weinberger (Bechtel) and Geoge H.W. Bush who started in oil, became a Congressman, U.N. Ambassador, CIA Director, Vice President, President and is now associated with the highly-influential Carlyle Group.
But it is the close association of all these people, agencies and corporations with events of history that is so striking. It was the corporatocracy that wanted the legally elected democratic leaders in Guatemala, Iraq, Chile, Panama and Equador assassinated. Their sins? They wanted the profits from the oil, minerals and produce from their countries to help advance the standard of living of their own people. The corporatocracy felt otherwise, as maximum profits are its only raison d'etre.
But it is the story of the corporatocracy's relationship with Saudi Arabia and the House of Saud and that is most revealing. World events will not be seen in the same light after reading this book.
This isn't an American textbook, but should be required reading for all Americans.
24 of 25 people found this review helpful