Light Reading…NOT

After completing Amy Goodman’s “The Exception to the Rulers” I was fairly certain it would be a long time before I picked up another book that could rock my foundation the way this one did. Well, as with too many other things, I was wrong. This weekend I picked up a copy of John Perkins’ “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” and it didn’t take long (literally) to realize this book is serious. The opening paragraph in the Preface reads:

Economic hit men (EHMs) are highly paid professionals who cheat countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars. They funnel money from the World Band, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and other foreign “aid” organizations into the coffers of huge corporations and the pockets of a few wealthy families who control the planet’s natural resources. Their tools include fraudulent financial reports, rigged elections, payoffs, extortion, sex, and murder. They play a game as old as empire, but one that has taken on new and terrifying dimensions during this time of globalization.

I should know; I was an EHM.

Now I would normally not comment on a book until I have completed it but due to the fact that this one has launched onto the literary scene with all the fanfare of the presidential campaign of Isabell Masters (remember her?) I thought it could use a little publicity.

One thing that has grabbed me about this book is that Perkin’s pulls no punches in telling his story. The following quote is an excellent example of this:

The United States spends over $87 billion conducting a war in Iraq while the United Nations estimates that for less than half that amount we could provide clean water, adequate diets, sanitation services, and basic education to every person on the planet.

And we wonder why terrorists attack us?

Powerful. Anyway, so far this book has me hooked. If it sounds interesting to you pick up a copy and lets discuss it. If you have already read it let me know what you think.



UPDATE: Thanks to Dan for reminding me that if you are going to pimp a book, Powell’s is a great place to do so.

UDATE DUEX: See January 1, 2005 post A Conversation with John Perkins for one hour interview.

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