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The Secret History of the American Empire: Economic Hit Men, Jackals, and the Truth about Global Corruption Audio CD – Audiobook, CD

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Penguin Audiobooks; Unabridged edition (5 Jun. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143142127
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143142126
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 3.9 x 14.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,077,939 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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I was ready to rape and pillage when I headed to Asia in 1971. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Brian Griffith on 30 Jan. 2009
Format: Paperback
In this book, Perkins makes several contrary things hang together. He tries to give an eyewitness account of secret intrigues, but also a big picture of recent world history. He damns both the American establishment and himself, but then gets motivational for changing the powers that be.

At first the book reads almost like a spy novel. Perkins wants to convey the glamor of high finance conspiracies, with the posh hotels, the geisha girls, the jackels, and the mirror sunglasses. How else did a man of conscience get sucked into all this? But then he meets more and more local leaders from countries around the world, who tell him the real scoop on the effects of US "development" policy. These people often need to remain anonymous, which sometimes leaves Perkins to vouch for his own testimony. Still, the accounts build up to an overwhelming case, which checks with lots of things we all know.

Then Perkins tries his hand as a motivational writer for global change. And here he gets downright authentic. A lot of this section comes from rather spontaneous speeches, where he set out to talk from the heart without notes. His stories of activists influencing corporate policy are practical, inspiring, and challenging to all disengaged critics. By the time he's done, you wanta be on this guy's side.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Luc REYNAERT TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 19 Nov. 2008
Format: Paperback
After a life of `robbing from the poor and giving to the rich' as an economic hit man, thereby pocketing his commissions, John Perkins became an environment activist and a militant for change in the policies of the corporatocracy.

The author delivers in this book many well directed punches into the face of his former employers, transnational companies which act as imperial dictatorships in the global economy.
Together with their long arms (controlled or corrupt governments, the IMF, the World Bank, the WTO, intelligence services, infiltrated or outright controlled NGOs and the military) the corporations are building an empire for the wealthy few. Behind the rhetoric of `free trade', `free markets` and `free choice' the author discovers disinformation, corruption, oligopolies and market and export protection.
This empire claims to defend democracy, but ousts or assassinates democratically elected presidents like P. Lumumba, S. Allende, O. Torrijos, D. Roldós).
The corporations profit heavily from the empire's War Machine (a trillion dollar business) which invents its own enemies. After the fall of the Berlin Wall Islamic revolutionaries took the place of the Communists in order to justify bulging military budgets.

A few examples
In Nigeria, the great writer, Ken Saro-Wiwa was hanged for opposing environmental havoc in the territories of the Ogoni people.
In Diego Garcia the entire population was forced out of their country without compensation in order to build a military base.
In East-Timor, the slaughtering of the population by Indonesian troops was approved by the US government.
In Columbia, the drug war is a subterfuge for protecting oil interests.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Mangizmo on 22 Oct. 2008
Format: Paperback
If you read and enjoyed Perkins "confessions of an Economic Hitman", then you really should read this book as well, it is a different type of book as it does not have quite autobiographical style of confessions and I was not carried along by the narrative in the same way....but its a good book IMO

I think the over-riding emotion that I am left with after just finishing this book is a general feeling of "ill at ease", I am also just a little angry too, there is so much detailed personal information in this book...somewhat similar to "confessions" that I can only conclude that it must be largely true otherwise it would be easy for detractors to blow holes in the account, and to date I do not think that Perkins has been substantially discredited...and what a corrupt and unplesant world we live in do we not ?

In my heart I already knew that the business of international politics is a dirty business and that many human beings can be cruel, greedy and evil, and this book just spells it out, and lists so many specific instances of the manipulation of power to stregnthen and enhance the grip of the corporatocracy

One thing that I had never considered and I think Perkins makes this point that whilst I knew that the corporatochracy in league with the US state work together to spread the tenticles of empire....even when miliatary policy is a failure as in Vietnam or possibly now Iraq...the corporations still win out, the US state might suffer lack of pretige and/or influence, but the corporations still benefit from reconstruction contracts, the spread of demand for western products and in many other ways...but eventually, if we continue...the empire itself will ultimately fail

For me it was a good book...if a little depressing...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By R. Gray on 6 Aug. 2011
Format: Hardcover
It's always a bad idea to shape your beliefs and views of the world from reading one book but The secret history of the American Empire is an exception. Instead of being an eye opening study of all the corporate machinations that shape our world it exposes the dirty little secrets that we all suspect are happening around us. The U.S. dealings with cruel dictators because it suits the corporations, the casual lies told to the public, the U.S.A.s willingness to send young men and women to fight and die and kill and destroy other people in the interests of corporate power and the way we the people are manipulated into supporting these endeavours is shocking but not entirely surprising.

I urge everyone to read this book. It is essential reading for anyone wishing to appreciate the truth behind the American empire and some of the reasons for the global crisis that we find ourselves in at the moment.
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