Synopses & Reviews
A riveting exposé of international corruption and what we can do about it, from the author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
, which spent over a year on the New York Times
In his stunning memoir, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, John Perkins detailed his former role as an "economic hit man" in the international corporate skullduggery of a de facto American Empire. This riveting, behind-the-scenes exposé unfolded like a cinematic blockbuster told through the eyes of a man who once helped shape that empire. Now, in The Secret History of the American Empire, Perkins zeroes in on hot spots around the world and, drawing on interviews with other hit men, jackals, reporters, and activists, examines the current geopolitical crisis. Instability is the norm: It's clear that the world we've created is dangerous and no longer sustainable. How did we get here? Who's responsible? What good have we done and at what cost? And what can we do to change things for the next generations? Addressing these questions and more, Perkins reveals the secret history behind the events that have created the American Empire, including:
- The current Latin-American revolution and its lessons for democracy
- How the "defeats" in Vietnam and Iraq benefited big business
- The role of Israel as "Fortress America" in the Middle East
- Tragic repercussions of the IMFs "Asian Economic Collapse"
- U.S. blunders in Tibet, Congo, Lebanon, and Venezuela
- Jackal (CIA operatives) forays to assassinate democratic presidents
From the U.S. military in Iraq to infrastructure development in Indonesia, from Peace Corps volunteers in Africa to jackals in Venezuela, Perkins exposes a conspiracy of corruption that has fueled instability and anti-Americanism around the globe. Alarming yet hopeful, this book provides a compassionate plan to reimagine our world.
"Having made a splash with Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, Perkins offers similarly entertaining but disturbing accounts of the American government wreaking havoc around the world in support of American business. In Perkins's view, American presidents willingly comply with their CEO masters, distributing foreign aid to corrupt Third World leaders who keep a share and return the rest to U.S. business for major projects, leaving their nations poor and massively in debt, and requiring more loans and slavish obedience to U.S. policy. If any leader objects, the CIA destabilizes his government, by assassination if necessary. Gathering evidence is not Perkins's strong suit. Typically, a shadowy figure pulls him aside, insists on anonymity, then reveals all. Critics will rightfully accuse Perkins of dreadful journalism and a taste for conspiracy theories. Yet economists admit that loans and 'expert advice' to poor nations are often harmful. Few deny that America has ruthlessly undermined uncooperative governments and supported dictators including Saddam Hussein. Perkins's assertions that the U.S. assassinated Ecuador's reformist president and connived at genocide in Timor and Sudan are not absurd, merely unproven. This book's greatest value may be to encourage a competent journalist to cover the same ground. (June 5)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Perkins takes on every variation of the corruption model, from keeping labor costs down among sweatshop producers of consumer goods craved by U.S. consumers to maintaining affordable petroleum for the nation that swills a disproportionate portion of the world's supply and generates commensurate climate-threatening pollution." Kirkus Reviews
"A sweeping, bold assault on the tyranny of corporate globalization, full of drama and adventure, with devastating stories of greed run wild. But Perkins is undaunted, and offers imaginative ideas for a different world." Howard Zinn
"John Perkins' new book is both an eye-opening expose of global corruption and a fascinating story of adventure and intrigue. This devastating indictment of current economic policies also offers hope by showing the power of the growing movement toward a caring economics worldwide." Riane Eisler, author of The Chalice and The Blade and The Real Wealth of Nations
In this riveting memoir, bestselling author Perkins details his former role as an economic hit man. This stunning, behind-the-scenes expos reveals a conspiracy of corruption that has fueled instability and anti-Americanism around the globe.
From the author of the "New York Times" bestseller "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" comes an expos of international corruption. Perkins suggests how Americans can work to create a more peaceful and stable world for future generations.
About the Author
John Perkins is the author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, a startling exposé of international corruption that spent over a year on the New York Times bestseller list. He is a founder and chairman of Dream Change, a nonprofit organization devoted to raising consciousness and creating a stable, sustainable, and peaceful world for future generations. Perkins has lectured and taught at universities on four continents including Wharton, Princeton, and Harvard, and is a champion for environmental and social causes.