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.More
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I'll probably listen to it again, although I got most of it on the first pass.
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.
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.
None leap to mind - it was all so very compelling.
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.
Filled In So Many Blanks
- Amazon Customer