Customer Reviews for

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

How could anyone give this less than five stars?

This book is a fantastic read - fast-pasted, adventurous, informative, and courageous. I wish this was required reading for people of all ages to learn about the corruption and greed that fuels the international banking system and U.S. 'corporatocracy,' and what we can ...
This book is a fantastic read - fast-pasted, adventurous, informative, and courageous. I wish this was required reading for people of all ages to learn about the corruption and greed that fuels the international banking system and U.S. 'corporatocracy,' and what we can do as citizens of the world to help create a better future. Sometimes Perkins beats himself up a bit, but I think that's understandable given the role he played in supporting this system. In all, I found it to be a highly enjoyable and enlightening book.

posted by Anonymous on August 20, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

What confessions?

If John Perkins wants us to believe he has written a confessional, I didn't find much that he confessed. He also wants us to believe he has written an explosive expose. But I didn't find either bombs or blast. According to Perkins there is a huge (non)conspiracy wi...
If John Perkins wants us to believe he has written a confessional, I didn't find much that he confessed. He also wants us to believe he has written an explosive expose. But I didn't find either bombs or blast. According to Perkins there is a huge (non)conspiracy within the U.S.government, operating through large international corporations and the World Bank, to create the appearance of economic incentives to build large infrastructure projects for foreign governments. The trick is to convince the foreign government that the project(s) will create a sufficient return on investment, but in reality, the projects will never perform well enough to ever repay the vast loans. But rather than call the loans, the U.S, like a mafia don, calls for favors instead. That enables the U.S. to build an empire without holding the actual ground of the countries conquered. If the foreign government fails to cooperate, then 'jackals' are sent to either gain the desired cooperation, or overthrow the government by whatever means necessary, including assassinating world leaders. And if that fails, the U.S. Army will make the final arrangements by conquering the hapless country, and installing a puppet government. Of course Perkins offers no direct evidence of any of this, other than to allude to the history of Central and South America, and the current events (and Halliburton) in Iraq. What I found remarkable about the book was Perkins' desire to portray himself as a reluctant victim. He admits that he understood completely that he was the initial 'hit man,' albeit through the economic subterfuge built into his proposals. Then after thirty-some years of doing their bidding, cashing in, and looking for more, he finally found his conscience, and wrote this book in spite of the threats against him should he do so. And now, at age 60, he wants us to believe he has finally awakened to the humanity of the world; that he finally 'gets it.' Though I might be less skeptical had he not accumulated and kept so much wealth that he now resides in one of the most affluent places in America. And that his new-found values motivated him, not to give to charity, but to write a for-profit book. I happen to agree that the U.S. government is becoming ever more beholden to international corporations. I just don't find that notion particularly new.

posted by Anonymous on February 13, 2005

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2008

    How could anyone give this less than five stars?

    This book is a fantastic read - fast-pasted, adventurous, informative, and courageous. I wish this was required reading for people of all ages to learn about the corruption and greed that fuels the international banking system and U.S. 'corporatocracy,' and what we can do as citizens of the world to help create a better future. Sometimes Perkins beats himself up a bit, but I think that's understandable given the role he played in supporting this system. In all, I found it to be a highly enjoyable and enlightening book.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2008

    'Shows the dark side of the U.S.'s foreign policies.'

    The book feels as if your reading the diary of a secret agent of some sort. Its an easy read and full of information that will blow your mind wide open. He gives first hand accounts of U.S. contractors lying to third world countries and coaxing them into paying the U.S. millions of dollars and causing the countries to go into debt for years and years. Some say the book is not true, but others disagree its an incredible read and super amazing I highly recommend it.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2004

    A Must Read!

    ¿Confessions of an Economic Hit Man¿ is a must-read, not just for scholars of modern imperialism but also for anyone who values truth. In this well-told story Perkins reveals the inner workings of a new imperialism and illustrates how corporations, the U.S. government, and the World Bank and IMF combine to chain less developed countries to the world economy in such a way as to guarantee their governments¿ compliance with the industrialized countries whose laissez-faire visions of economics drove and shaped 19th-and 20th-century European empires. Indeed, the portrait of the coporatocratic empire jibes perfectly with the history of the modern empires of the previous two centuries . . . its crafters¿ vision extended by military might, political will, and technological advances in mobility and communications. The United States has inherited the imperial mantle. But, where 19th-century imperial powers used military might and gunboat diplomacy to ensure their hegemony in their colonies, the U.S. uses economic hit men to extend its control over less developed countries through gargantuan loans made to their corrupt and/or naïve leaders. Mr. Perkins was part of this system; and this confession, an insider¿s snapshot into the workings of the IMF, the World Bank, and modern imperialism, is his exposé. I very much enjoyed reading this book, it is a portrait well painted. Perkins¿s prose is clear and his story compelling. As a scholar of modern world history, this book connected many dots for me. True American patriots will heed the warning implicit in Mr. Perkins¿s book: if the United States is to become a model republic and a moral as well as economic leader in the world, then informed citizens must help to change the way we do business. Education is key to changing the future. In his closing, Perkins offers some suggestions on how to effect real, positive change. As a student, I learned much from ¿Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.¿ As a teacher, I will be using it as part of an imperialism class that I teach in high school. Kudos, Mr. Perkins, for your enlightenment and confession, may it have the positive impact you desire.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 22, 2012

    I thought this book was a bit over the top............until.....

    I thought this book was a bit over the top............until.............I was on a tour of the Boston harbor light houses. I was sitting next to a very conservative retired man. After listening to him complain about "liberal america" I asked him what he did before he retired. He asked if I had read this book because that is what he did. I said, "No way, wasn't that book an exaggeration?" "Not really," he said, "It was surprisingly accurate."

    This is a super fun book to read, it moves quickly. It is easy to mock this book, many people do not want to know about these sorts of things. However, you can research the events in the book. We built these things. George Bush acknowledged that we get more back than we give. He substantially increased US foreign aid.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2010

    Great Book!!!

    This book was a great book talking about the economy. Another book that was suggested to me when buying this book was "Life After Foreclosure" by Dean Wegner! Both of these books talk in great debth about the economies current meltdown.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 1, 2010

    A Must Read

    Confessions of an Economic Hit Man is author John Perkins' mea culpa over his life as an Economic Hit Man, or EHM.

    If I had read this book a decade ago, during the height of the roaring 90s when few people bothered with looking too closely at the government, corporations, or the world outside the US I may have written this off as unbelievable. But with the rising profiles of Haliburton, KBR, our "reconstruction" in the Middle East, the ever more exposed ties of the Bush family to the oil industry, and the last eight years of an American government and nation sacrificing it's founding principles in the name of greed... what Perkins has to say makes a lot of sense.

    I have two minor criticisms of this book: 1) I feel that John Perkins treats himself and his role in the world as it is today with kid gloves; 2) Some of the more New Age "kumbaya" overtones weaken the story Perkins is trying to tell. Perkins states repeatedly that he feels a deep sense of remorse and shame for his part in bringing about a global empire. He feels so deeply, in fact, that it seems hard for him to look at his past self head on- while Perkins does an excellent job of presenting difficult facts and stories in a deft and honest fashion, his language softens considerably when the focus turns to himself. Although it is distracting and makes it more difficult to be sympathetic to the author, I think this ironically serves to make the book more believable when contrasted with the way he presents the portions that aren't about him.

    Those two minor complaints aside, however, I don't think it's possible to overstate the value of this book. Especially as we move away from a White House openly in bed with corporate behemoths and into the new Obama administration that, one week in, looks to be moving in a completely new direction.

    This book was, for me personally, a catalyst for an Epiphany. It was gratifying, and horrifying, to see things that I'd suspected for years but had dismissed as paranoia articulated by a man who has lived them. But the sheer scope of what Perkins lays out is truly mind boggling. I believe that Perkins made a good choice in this book by emphasizing, repeatedly, that everything he was relating was not a conspiracy, not a single plot being run by a group of shadowy figures, but the way the world really is and works.

    This book was loaned to me by a friend, and I'm going to dutifully pass it to the next person in the list as it was passed on to me. But I've already ordered my own copy, along with Perkins' follow up book, for my permanent collection. And I know several friends and family members who are going to receive this as gifts this year.

    Forget "highly recommended". This is a must read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 27, 2010

    Be aware of the world around you

    I found this book to be very enlightening and thought provoking. It allowed me to see things from a different point of view that I had not considered. I was an instant fan. Especially since I was in some of the places he describes and now could better piece together the impact my military career had in a global setting.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 10, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    For the socially concerned around the globe

    This is a book worth reading and understading about the corporatocracy in America and its affairs abroad. It is a book intended to change the mind of the person who reads it. Plus it has all the items of a real life thriller. Kudos for Mr. Perkins.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 17, 2009

    Conspiracy Theorist Must Read!

    Good Story line about the events and people behind the scenes who control and manipulate our government,corporations,and society in general.
    Non-Fiction accounts of events that took place in the twentieth century
    which illustrate how the powers that be control our government without our
    knowledge or consent.Such books as this one will do much to enlighten the
    American people as to how their government is really run! Sad,Chilling,and
    shocking accounts of abuse of power on the part of corporate leaders.
    As time progresses and individuals such as the author of this book come
    forward with their story we the people will come to understand how our
    government is really run and the individuals really in control will be
    unmasked!It will be a big demand on the people to decide how we will change our world for the better! Books such as this one should not motivate the people to seek revenge but to stir us to action to make the
    world a better place for all humans!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 15, 2009

    Provocative and stimulating

    This book trully causes one to think twice before standing up and reciting the pledge of allegiance. "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" is a bone chilling insight into the United States modern forgien policy. John Perkins is a vetran to international corporate crooked bussiness. For an eye opening experience pick up a copy and you will not be able to put it down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2014

    The purpose of this book was to reveal the secretes that the gov

    The purpose of this book was to reveal the secretes that the government of the U.S holds when it come to the economy. Perkins takes us through his career of an economic hit man and tries to advise us on we Americans can put an end to these practices. Perkins define that the purpose of an economic hit man was to cheat countries
    This book was a brief autobiography of Perkins life as an Economic Hit Man. He describes his experiences as an Economic Hit Man in Indonesia, Panama, and Saudi Arabia. He became an economic hit man while trying to work for the NSA. He was in Ecuador when the President of MAIN approached him and offered him a job in the company. He accepted this job from the company and was trained to be an Economic Hit Man. He was chosen because the company saw that he can survive in very poor conditions. Perkins defines this job as being a cheat because he forecasted false economic growth in order for countries to take out loans from the National Bank and other sources. Then the country will fall into owning a lot of money then the U.S will pay the money and take control of the country for its own purposes like oil, military bases, and so forth. He forecasted an economic growth in Indonesia of 17-20% per year in projects in electricity. Later he went to Panama to try to make Panama puppets of the American government again. The president of Panama was well aware of the game that was played, and wanted to better his own people and take control of the Canal. At the end a negotiation was made with Perkins and MAIN. 
    Then in Saudi Arabia he was send as an “economic advisor” and was asked to forecast an economic growth not only for MAIN’s profits, but also for national security. His job was different that time he wasn’t supposed to put Saudi Arabia in debts, but to make sure that money came back to the U.S. I think that the purpose was to expose the truth about what the U.S was doing to other countries. Also I think that this is valuable missing history that is taken off on the history text books at school. This is the unspoken truth behind the U.S massive profits of poor countries. 

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  • Posted December 2, 2012

    Highly recommended

    This is a book of much importance to understand how our society functions and where we stand and where we are going. A must read.

    Hugo Dietrich

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2012

    Awsome book

    Well worth reading

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2009

    Want to know the truth?

    Anyone in this country who can read should read this. It's time to bite the bullet and be aware of what a bunch of hypocrits we are and why so many people hate us. Wake up America. And read the next book Perkins wrote:"The Secret History of the American Empire" About who really runs the world.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2009

    Sinister side of American corporate internationalism told by an American corporate international research and development whistleblower

    The whistleblower gives examples of how some American multinational corporations are profiteers of human exploitation and environmental exploitation in foreign countries. It also suggests that they are interested in just short-term profits and have no social consciousness or actual business savvy--that they are seriously limited in vision and ingenuity.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2006

    Magnificent

    This is just the kind of book the public needs to read, about how screwed up our government claims not to be. This book is not only well written just as an informative novel, it is superceeded by the weight it carries in truth. There have been many published cases along what is outlined in this book but none have really been pushed into the front of the display like this. In fact when I picked this up on a whim my expectations were low, but after I read it a few more times and lent it to my friends, it occured to me how important this book really is. I strongly recommend this book to any true American that wants to know what is really going on.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2006

    Truth can set you free!

    Some people have reviewed this book without getting the real story. It is not an 'America is to blame' book. It is about a small percentage of people that try to cover themselves in our flag. It makes you think about our 'free press' and how much we can actually believe what is written in the papers. This book should get your wheels turning, and your blood boiling. A must read if you want to start to understand why so many people hate us 'Americans'!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2006

    Eye opening.

    We've have suspected for many years that big business manipulates international policy to improve its bottom line. Sirota tries his best to expose this process by giving a first hand account of his role as an 'oprative.'

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2006

    Wake up.

    This book confirms and broadens suspicions I've had for years. Some will say this book backs a political agenda, but if you read it, you will note that it supports neither Republican or Democratic politicians. The depth and scope of the phenomena discussed are far beyond what I had previously thought. In my travels, I have encountered people that confirm this: As in most any other country on Earth, The US government lies to its citizens about the motivations behinds its actions, and about the nature of its involvement.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2006

    Connects the dots

    A superb book. If you aren't captivated by the first chapters, push on... the content is multi-faceted and rewarding. It pulled together for me key strands of recent history and current events into what now seems so obvious. Energizing!

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