This book is so eager to unmask the imperial project of the last 35 years that it has prompted USINFO.STATE.GOV to put up a page about it in its 'Identifying Misinformation archive'. So far, so good.
Much of what the book says about the shared imperial aspirations of state and business flows logically, with a capitalist eye for self-interest, profit and market dominance. Therefore, the author's frequent early references to feeling guilty about his deeds does tend to sensationalize his role in an approach to money-making which is still current - in occupied Iraq, for example.
For me, the book really comes alive when Perkins recounts the sights, sounds and smells of Indonesia - his first destination as an economic hit man. Perkins writes very well here and draws you into his world. I actually finished the 225 page story in a day, but frequent breaks in the narrative do break its intimacy. That said, this book is full of little-reported insights, personalities and acts from history which crystallize a truth. Government, military and intelligence services serve the interests of big business and profit.
Who benefits from this deceit? Well, there in lies the dilemma; arguably most Western citizens... through cheap oil.
'For every $100 of crude taken out of the Ecuadorian rain forests, the oil companies receive $75. Of the remaining $25, three-quarters must go to paying off the foreign debt. Most of the remainder covers military and other government expenses - which leaves about $2.50 for healfth, education and prgrams aimed at helping the poor.'
Confessions of an Economic Hit Man