Robert Baer Reviews Hoodwinked
Robert Baer is the author of two New York Times bestsellers: Sleeping with the Devil, about the Saudi royal family and its relationship with the United States; and See No Evil, which recounts Baer’s years as a top CIA operative. See No Evil was the basis for the acclaimed film Syriana, which earned George Clooney an Oscar for his portrayal of Baer. Baer has contributed to Vanity Fair, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. He is considered one of the world’s foremost authorities on the Middle East. Read his guest review of Hoodwinked:
I wasn’t twenty pages into Hoodwinked when I realized Perkins nailed it. What got us into the mess we’re in today, the worst recession since the Great Depression, is the same grotesque capitalism cum corruption we shoved down the throat of the Third World since the end of World War II. (Yes, the Third World’s elites were cheerfully corrupted.)
We, and the rest of the West, learned the trick of selling unneeded infrastructure, services, over-sophisticated weapons--stuff that could never benefit anyone other than the people who lined their pockets. And yes, Perkins is right, the international economists and press were handmaidens to the thievery.
It was all fairly routine until 9/11, when the real gorging started. Tell the people their roof is on fire and they’ll give you whatever you ask for. Between 2001 and 2009 the Department of Defense budget increased 74 percent, and that is not to mention the hundreds of billions of dollars in related contracts. Nigeria on the Potomac.
Perkins is quick to state he doesn’t believe in a grand conspiracy theory. Few of the people who call the shots have ever met each other. They don’t have a playbook other than a couple of fraudulent economists like Milton Friedman and the others who worship at the altar of deregulation. No, what they have in common is an obsession with the winner takes all.
Perkins's message isn’t going to be popular. We’re a country invested in a system in which five percent of the world’s population consumes 25 percent of the world’s resources. It's a system we’re trying to sell to the world, only we don’t mention that we’ll need five planets to sustain it.
Perkins isn’t the pessimist I am. He says we can save the world if we green it--and, of course, start telling the truth to each other. Otherwise we end up a banana republic like the ones we know so well how to despoil. --Robert Baer
"John Perkins has been in and out of the world of high finance and low ethics, and in Hoodwinked he not only illuminates that world with dramatic stories and keen insights, but suggests what we might do to create a better society."
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—Howard Zinn, bestselling author of A People's History of the United States
"Another thriller from the master storyteller with an insider view. Perkins takes us once again into the dark netherworld of corrupt bankers and economic hit men who lure the unsuspecting into financial ruin and reveals the connection between the folks who for decades enriched themselves at the expense of the world's poor and those who now reap billions at the expense of America. Same people, same scams."
—David Korten, author of Agenda for a New Economy and The Great Turning, and board chair of YES! magazine
"John Perkins' engaging narrative draws us into a brilliant analysis of capitalism's shadow side, and points us to a hopeful path to a better future. Hoodwinked is a must-read for anyone who cares about our economic welfare, social justice, and our collective well-being."
—DANIEL GOLEMAN, bestselling author of Emotional Intelligence and Ecological Intelligence
Acclaim for Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
"Here are the real-life details—nasty, manipulative, plain evil—of international corporate skullduggery spun into a tale rivaling the darkest espionage thriller."
—Greg Palast, author of The Best Democracy Money Can Buy
"[A] gripping tell-all book."
—Rocky Mountain News
"A bombshell. One of those rare instances in which someone deeply entrenched in our governmental/corporate imperialist structure has come forward to reveal in unequivocal terms its inner workings. A work of great insight and moral courage."
—John E. Mack, Harvard professor and Pulitzer Prize–winning author of A Prince of Our Disorder: The Life of T. E. Lawrence
"Stunning and groundbreaking. . . . A must-read for anyone who cares about the world."
—Lynne Twist, global activist and author of the bestselling The Soul of Money
"With unflinching honesty, Perkins narrates his moral awakening and struggle to break free from the corrupt system of global domination he himself helped to create. This book . . . comes from the heart. I highly recommend it."
—Michael Brownstein, author of World on Fire