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How America Built Empire On Third-World Debt

Press release from: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.

A New York Times Bestseller! Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins

The Inside Story Of How America Built An Empire On Third-World Debt


(CSRwire) SAN FRANCISCO - “Economic hit men,” John Perkins writes in his controversial new book, “are highly paid professionals who cheat countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars. 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 terrifying dimensions during this time of globalization.”

John Perkins should know about economic hit men—he was covertly recruited by the U.S. National Security Agency to be one. For years, he worked for an international consulting firm where his job was to convince underdeveloped countries to accept enormous loans, much larger than what was really needed, for infrastructure development—and to make sure that the development projects were then contracted to U. S. multinationals. Once these countries were saddled with huge debts, the American government and the international aid agencies allied with it were able, by dictating repayment terms, to essentially control their economies. It was not unlike the way a loan shark operates—and Perkins and his colleagues didn’t shun this kind of unsavory association. In fact, they even referred to themselves as “economic hit men.”

This is a story of international political intrigue at the highest levels. For over a decade, Perkins traveled all over the world—Indonesia, Panama, Ecuador, Columbia, Saudi Arabia, Iran—and worked with men like Panamanian president Omar Torrijos, who became a personal friend. In 1974, he helped to implement a secret scheme that funneled billions of Saudi petrodollars back into the U. S. economy, and that further cemented the intimate relationship between the Islamic fundamentalist House of Saud and a succession of American administrations. Perkins’ story illuminates just how far economic hit men were willing to go, and unveils the real causes of some of the most dramatic developments in recent history, such as the fall of the Shah of Iran and the invasions of Panama and Iraq.

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, which many people urged Perkins not to write, is a blistering attack on⎯and exposé of⎯the little known inner workings of both government and corporate policies that have fostered globalization and led to the impoverishment of untold millions of people across the planet. It is a story that will increase the reader's understanding of why so many people in so many countries hate America and what is has come to stand for.

An excerpt from Confessions of an Economic Hit Man is available at http://www.bkconnection.com/ProdDe tails.asp?ID=1576753018.


"Imagine the conceptual love child of James Bond and Milton Friedman."
—Boston Herald

"This riveting look at a world of intrigue reads like a spy novel. Perkins vividly recounts his work throughout the world, from Saudi Arabia to Panama to Ecuador, and introduces such characters as Panamanian president Omar Torrijos, who became a personal friend. Highly recommended for both academic and public libraries."
—Library Journal

A “gripping tell-all book . . . . Perkins reveals how the U.S. machine works behind closed doors and how America has exploited others for its own needs” —Rocky Mountain News

“Must reading for those that know another world is possible! Perkins' story, however , is less about individual guilt and more about the systemic programming and tempting of males in patriarchal societies and their global power elites. Perkins' revelations shock us and illuminate how these same incentives in academia keep reproducing the compartmentalized worldviews and sophisticated economic models rationalizing inequity, greed, egotism ,competitive self-interest and global expansionism via GDP-growth and debt.”
—Hazel Henderson, author of Beyond Globalization and Building a Win-Win World

"This is a stunning and groundbreaking book that is a must read for anyone who cares about our world."
—Lynne Twist, Global Activist, author of the best selling The Soul of Money

"John Perkins combines the brilliance and suspense of a Graham Greene thriller with the authority of his insider vantage point to tell a true, powerful, revealing, and bone chilling personal story that names names and connects the dots between corporate globalization, American Empire, and the House of Bush."
—David Korten, author, When Corporations Rule the World


John Perkins is founder and president of the Dream Change Coalition, which works closely with Amazonian and other indigenous people to help preserve their environments and cultures. He was previously founder and CEO of Independent Power Systems, an alternative energy provider. From 1971 to 1981 he worked for the international consulting firm of Chas. T. Main, where he became Chief Economist and Director of Economics and Regional Planning.


• Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

• By John Perkins

• Published by Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.

• Cloth

• Number of Pages: 250

• ISBN: 1-57675-301-8

• $24.95

• Publication Date: November 9, 2004


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