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117 of 124 people found the following review helpful
Although I am a longtime political and news junkie, it is not possible for me to accurately determine the truth of all the claims that are made in this book. However, I do know a great deal of history and have some knowledge of economics so I can reach conclusions on many of the claims. Where I am able, I can confirm the accuracy of what Perkins puts forward.
Perkins is a self-proclaimed former "economic hit man" (EHM), a person whose job is to convince people to accept his economic claims to the long-term detriment of their country or organization. He describes some of the tactics used to press a form of economic imperialism on other countries, where their leaders are pressed to accept loans, allow multi-national corporations to enter the country and engage in rapacious development and describes the consequences if the leaders try to assert independence.
Perkins also goes into detail and explains how similar tactics have been applied in the United States, where there is the increasing consequence of wealth being concentrated in a smaller and smaller economic elite. He has very harsh words for some of the most praised business leaders, especially for the often-praised Jack Welch and Sam Walton, former CEO of General Electric and founder of Wal-Mart respectively.
This is a book that will simultaneously anger and depress you, the anger will be generated from the knowledge that the United States is more and more being governed by the equivalent of a corporate theocracy where the basis of the religion is the ruthless acquisition of wealth. Since the odds are approximately four to one that you are a victim of this movement and your real earnings have declined as a consequence, frustration and depression are a natural consequence of reading about how it has happened.
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60 of 65 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 2009
I was really amazed when reading this book that these things actually go on. OK, call me naive but the thought that our government and large corporations send businessmen (ie hitmen) to other countries with the sole intention of conning them into giving us their natural resources and going into debt just disgusts me.

John Perkins really opens readers eyes to what's going on in the global market. He gives an insight into the global meltdown that many people haven't previously considered. He discusses how just a few large corporations own much of the capital, land and resources around the world and he talks about how these corporations influence and control our politicians.

The second part of Hoodwinked talks about the solution to the problem. He discusses how we can create a healthy economy that encourages businesses to act responsibly and by doing this to create a more sustainable world.

I think this is a really valuable book for people to read. It will truly open your eyes to the ways our government and corporations work and it will get you thinking about ways to fix capitalism. I do agree with John Perkins. I think capitalism can be fixed and I think it's a worthy system that deserves to be fixed.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
John Perkins admits helping hasten the world to the brink of economic collapse that we see around us. He admits suckering governments into bad debt with ill intentions, and confesses his part in bringing down elected governments. He spells out how the techniques he used to hobble nations have also been used against America, and why we will never return to what we once thought of as "normal."

But Perkins doesn't wallow in mere breast-beating. He points out what has gone wrong, and defines how we can make it right. He lays out ways in which we have been duped by "a mutant form of capitalism" and a "virus," and how a return to real, responsible capitalism can save us. He explains everything in clear, lucid terms, and for a book about economic collapse, he is surprisingly full of hope for the future.

Perkins' cold-eyed examination of how a greedy few pressured the world into debt in bad faith is chilling, and he admits it has the ring of a spy thriller. His explains how Operation Ajax, the 1954 American overthrow of the Iranian government, is directly responsible for the shape we're in now. And his prescription for getting out of our tailspin, though perhaps excessively cheerful, is simple and within our grasp.

At times, Perkins' run-down is a little too absolute. For instance, he disparages the concentration of media holdings into only six massive companies, but he never mentions that his book is published by an imprint of Random House, a Bertelsmann company. Hey, doesn't that conflict with his story of corporations as evil monoliths? At least Naomi Klein, in No Logo, admits that corporate might is not unlimited.

On the whole, Perkins dismantles how we got into this mess, and offers us hope to get ourselves out. While most of his confessions are revelations to committed readers, his firsthand knowledge is stunning. And his turnaround, from profit pirate to working class hero, gives us reason to believe we can reclaim what the greedy stole. What he offers is not simple, but it is hopeful, and I suspect that it is also true.
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53 of 60 people found the following review helpful
on November 18, 2009
Every consumer in the States should read this book! John Perkins does an exceptional job of guiding you through the troubles and atrocities that our country has burdened not only ourselves, but the rest of the world, through greed and deception. This is a must read for everyone, especially if you have young children, grandchildren, or plan on having children. It is time for us to sustain a future for generations to come. If we don't, as John explains in his book, there will be a disastrous outcome.

Read this book and recommend it to friends and family. It will take time, but with passion, dedication, and hard work we can change the world.

My thanks goes out to John Perkins for sharing his knowledge and showing his dedication.
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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on November 10, 2009
If there is only one book you read in the next month to understand on a very deep level what has happened to our nation and our financial market, you must read this one.

Perkins, author of the previous "Confessions of an Economic Hitman" has created a gripping, astonishing and purposeful book. If you only read the chapter on "Modern Robber Barons" the book will well worth the investment. Are you at all curious about the 355 billionaires in the United states? You should be.

This book is not only a powerful and stunning story, but it also offers great hope and actionable ideas for change in the future. Perkins invokes all citizens to honor their passions, create a sustainable future, stop the corporatocracy and stop the enslavement of debt.

A Must-Read. Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2009
I feel no need to add to the reviews in appreciation of Perkin's first hand account of how we've used Friedman-based economic policy to generate the crises we find ourselves surrounded by. If you can't believe the kind of thing he's seen and reports on is actually happening there are many books that provide further substantiation - such as A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present (P.S.). I want to delve deeper into `Part II: The Solution', in response to those who think we cannot/willnot change. In Part II, Perkins presents a solid framework for effective action through five pathways for change:

1. Accepting consumer responsibility
2. Creating a new economy
3. Adopting attitudes that encourage good stewardship and make icons of a new type of hero
4. Implementing new rules for business and government
5. Honoring our individual passions

These are all fully actionable, and initial small steps are accessible to anyone.

#1 is a simple, extremely effective pathway to change via individual acts - and doable even if you're over-busy and strapped for cash (see [...] - the latter two in Perkin's book). It may require some re-orientation of priorities - for instance, buying less stuff or more used or less processed food or less meat in order to have funds to make a higher proportion of purchases from fair, environmentally responsible companies. Many of my friends make - and spend - very little, but make their remaining purchases with this level of care.

#5 is the best pathway out of apathy out there (not to mention making life way more interesting and fun). Find the place where your talents and passions meet the world's need and, however slowly, start moving in that direction. It's bound to be a better party than the apathy crowd puts on.

With #3, any parent, child, teacher, friend can influence those they're close to by shifting attitudes, behavior, and what and who you choose to admire and discuss. Cultures change, sometimes rapidly, and largely via social networks. Those in the media (or with friends and family in media) can play a wider role, but we all can make a difference here without any extra money or time - just a shift of emphasis.

#2 and #4 are to me perhaps the most key, and admittedly harder to see how to act on. Anyone who starts or runs a business based on ethical and green principles or develops a new green technology or service is working on #2, but so is anyone who supports organizations (such as [...]) that are developing and enabling alternative economic approaches. #2 is also #1,4 and 5 combined. Anyone can help create a new economy by using your $ to support things in that economy (#1), and by buying less stuff and using your resulting economic flexibility to make your life fulfill your passions (#5), and to also give $ to support those fighting for #4.

For #4, big battles are going on right now all over the world. Here's where giving support to groups making change (like [...] or [...]) and adding your voice to pressure corporations and politicians to implement deep reform makes all the difference. Even one small step - one call to a congressperson - is important.

For a personal example, I've responded to Og8s1's specific challenge "what have YOU done in the last 30 days" in the comments to Ryan McKenney. Perkins provides a variety of resources to get started - following just one of those links and taking one step can be personally empowering and contributes to the change needed.

Perkens says "if relatively few of us, a critical mass- a tiny percentage of the population-consciously takes action in each of these arenas, we will succeed. In our lifetime." In Margaret Mead's words, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." This has been proven again and again to be true, and Perkins shines a light on how each of us can help make the changes we so urgently need today.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 2009
John Perkins has such a broad experience in government and big business that he offers an integrative world view that is shocking as to the manipulation by government and the corporatocracy but still is optimistic and offers us solutions. Wake up America to someone who is telling the truth.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on December 13, 2009
After decades of US foreign aid to "the developing world" and thousands of Peace Corps missions and good intentions on the part of American citizens, why is so much of the world still a basket case? Perkins explains. The first half of Hoodwinked is an updated reprise of his "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man," in which he literally confesses his insider activities in the corporatocracy's plans to subjugate as many countries as possible to US interests - all by legal economic means. Here he brings it up to date. In the second half he describes what US citizens must do to change the system to make the US truly a global partner and not a duplicitous brigand. Which we must do in order to make the world a better and safer place. Reading this I understood the rationale for 9/11. This book is a wake-up call, a lesson for everyone.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon November 27, 2009
The author gets down to the basics of the world's current crisis and it's origins within the United States. Indeed, he is uniquely qualified to key insights, not only because was he an inside job man aka EHM, economic hit man, but still has access to contacts he has & is making in his quest to help the public. For in this world he describes it has come down to the corporation vs. the people. And were losing.
He tells of when Rubin & Greenspan were discussing with President Clinton the idea that the nation is a sovereign entity answerable only to the people, that was indeed a quaint and outdated notion. Everyone knows the people existed to serve financial interests/not the other way around.
Thus, Perkins opens telling the reader that we have entered a time not unlike that when the city-states were replaced by nations - except today nations have been replaced by giant transnational corporations. At the highest levels, there is no seperation between people who run these transnational & those in charge of our governments.
Now the U.S.A. finds itself being subjugated to the same methods used to decimate economies of the third world. In fact the very same perpetra(i)tors used in the meltdown of the USSR are being in a simular updated modus operandi, 20 years advanced, and it's target is the people of this country. These methods have been introduced in NY, Calif, Mich (as well as other states): the abandament of law that corporations adhere to srict environmental, social, truth-in-advertising standards, the assumption of large amounts of corporate/government debt, privitized public utilities and other "public" institutions, increased police surveillance under the guise of "homeland security", use of public lands to serve private interests, and many other such standards that once protected the rights of the people. These and other established methods are successful, if you happen to be a member of the corporatocracy, the club of CEO powerbrokers, senators, members of congress, supreme court pawns, regulators, generals, & presidents - FOR THE PEOPLE IT IS AN ABJECT FAILURE!
To add insult to injury, all this had been justisfied by an ILLUSION of growth, a Siefried & Roy Vegas Casino Capitalism "Beyond Belief".
The author says we are now the world's first non-banana producing republic. The state of our economy: short of businesses that produce real things that people need, a staggering national/trade deficit, and the exploitation of the many by the very few. Sure our standards are high, but the reality is that the ruling elite have given us their blueprint as our just reward, "Brown,... job well done".
They mismanaged the system that drove us all over the cliff. But it's OK because they have the golden parachutes, the lawyers, the money, & what they don't, the taxpayer, will HAVE TO bail their sorry TOO BIG TO FAIL ASSES out!
The author does a good job in describibg remedies for a way out. Still, he ends with the Honduras American coup where President Zelaya had the audacity to expose the terrible working conditions on agribusiness plantations, the suffering & diseases, the slave wages and malnutrition. He had the integrity not to bend to the transnational's corruption, but instead demand something better for the people. So of course, there was a coup. Because the public are transnational's enemy #1 !
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on December 14, 2009
"Hoodwink" has an excellent analysis of the differences between Keynesian principles and Milton Friedman's "Monetarism" and the consequences of those policies. Primarily the book focuses on the "corporatocracy" or "predatory capitalism." This book, I feel, is Part Two of Perkins previous book "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" however written in haste.
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Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins (Paperback - December 27, 2005)


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