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A Book Review - Confessions of an Economic Hitman

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A Book Review:

Confessions of an Economic Hitman

by John Perkins

        Confessions of an Economic Hitman is a non-fiction book written by John Perkins and published in 2004. Before we dive in into the book, let’s get to know the author. John Perkins is an American author who was born in New Hampshire, United States, in 1945. He had published other works too such as The World Is As You Dream It (1997) and The Secret History of the American Empire (2007). Perkins is a founder and board member of Dream Change and The Pachamama Alliance, a nonprofit organization. He has lectured at Harvard, Oxford, and more than 50 universities around the world. He was awarded the Lennon Ono Grant for Peace 2012, and Rainforest Action Network Challenging Business As Usual Award, 2006. Recently this year, he published another book with similar name titled The New Confessions of an Economic Hitman.

        An economic hit man is a highly paid professional who cheats developing countries around the world out of trillions of dollars, by convincing those countries to accept big loans for infrastructure projects, while knowing that the growth of those countries will never be significant enough to pay back the loans. The money sources are from the World Bank, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and other organizations such as International Monetary Fund. John Perkins believed he was an EHM himself. In fact, he was an EHM for years. He wasn’t the only one, there were others EHMs, but what made him special is the fact that he realized what he was doing was really wrong, which influenced him to write this book.

        In the beginning chapters, John takes us through his story as a young man, such as turning down Ivy League for his parents and joining the Peace Crops in order not to be in military. Throughout these chapters he talks about the coincidence events that shapes his life. He also makes a point that once he was involved in the ‘corporatocracy’, his life’s coincidences started to be based by the plans of his bosses about his work tasks, rather than by fate. John Perkins was a hard worker, considerate to his feelings and always succeed in sealing deals by convincing himself that he was the best at what he did. He got his job at MAIN, a consulting group, and even though he lacks of education to create foreign economic forecasts, he figures out a way to do them by doing it like the company tell him to, which is telling the forecast as vast economic growth, regardless of the country’s situation. At first, he believed that he was helping people by doing this. But deep down inside, he knew he was doing more harm than good. He spent years assuring himself that he was just doing his job and he wasn’t the bad guy. But the reality came creeping in, started when in Indonesia he met a friend and he was shown the dark sides in Indonesia, such as poverty everywhere. From then on, he started to be more realistic and finally quit his job and write this book, revealing the evil of the economic hit men.

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