Sunday, May 08, 2005

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

by John Perkins

It is difficult to know where to begin with this book, which reads more like a novel than the political economy tell-all it is supposed to be. On the one hand, much of what Perkins says about the despicable acts of the United States in world affairs since 1970, and the reason why so much of the world hates America, is completely plausible. On the other hand, the criticism of the World Bank as an agent of U.S. economic domination of the world is not entirely justified. Not entirely. (It is disconcerting to realize that even that rings somewhat true, especially during the time of which Perkins writes, when Robert McNamara was President of the Bank. And the logic suggests, also, that under the new President, Paul Wolfowitz, the Bank may again be a tool of U.S. imperialism.) The book is very convincing in describing the "corporatocracy," the inter-connected business relationships that now dominate the world and are linked closely to the Bush administration--the Bechtel and Halliburton connections, the oil companies. That argument is frightening, to say the least.

Yet the author’s tone throughout is self-serving and self-aggrandizing, and because of that the book is somewhat hard to believe.

Because Perkins was a Peace Corps Volunteer, there is a
of the book at Peace Corps Writers.

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