151 of 167 people found the following review helpful
insightful modern history (+ further reading & suggestions),
This review is from: Confessions of an Economic Hit Man (Hardcover)
John Perkins gives a first-hand account of a world in which US corporations wildly overpredict the growth that will follow big infrastructure projects in the developing world, convincing aid organizations to give big loans for these projects, resulting in big projects (and big money) for American firms and crippling debt for poor nations.
Part of the book tells of his own experiences, generating false predictions and both giving and receiving bribes. The other part is a history of the role that US corporations (and, more subtly, the US government) play in eliminating hostile but strategically important leaders of developing countries and co-opting their nations' resources. (Those same leaders, hostile to US business, are often the champions of the poor in their countries.)
The history this book provides opened my eyes and made me want to read more on the subject. Thankfully, Perkins also provides extensive references for those who would like to read more on this, both providing an avenue for the curious reader and showing that he isn't the only witness to the new imperialism. The last few pages of the book also provide some practical suggestions for a reader to "do something" (and refuse to absolve us of collective guilt).
On the other hand, while the book claims to be a confession, massive page space is dedicated to Perkins's misgivings about what he was doing as he was doing it, to the point that it really feels like he's trying to let us know that he's not that bad a guy. That tone and the amount of time dedicated to it really wore me down as a reader. (Okay, okay, you were really torn, I get it.)
But overall, this was well worth the time, and I only hope I can carry some of its lessons with me.
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Initial post: May 17, 2013 2:56:55 PM PDT
Besides the fact that I am deeply grateful to Mr Perkins for his confessions, I also think that a good editor should have cut out some of the repetitive "I had a bad conscience all along" statements. In the long run they detract rather than add value to this profound criticism of a decadent empire.
Posted on Mar 28, 2016 8:28:55 AM PDT
scot henderson says:
felt the same way. guess he now feels guilty about earning all that money. easy to feel that way when ya ain't got to worry about your next paycheck.
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