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Publisher's Summary

The New York Times best seller, updated and expanded, featuring 15 explosive new chapters.

The previous edition of this now-classic book revealed the existence and subversive manipulations of "economic hit men". John Perkins wrote that economic hit men (EHM) "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". In Perkins' case, the tool was debt - convincing strategically important countries to borrow huge amounts of money for enormous "development" projects that served the very rich while driving the country deeper into poverty and debt. And once indebted, these countries could be controlled.

In this latest edition, Perkins provides revealing new details about how he and others did their work. But, more importantly, in an explosive new section, he describes how the EHM tools are being used around the world more widely than ever - even in the United States. The cancer has metastasized, yet most people still aren't aware of it.

Fear and debt drive the EHM system. We are hammered with messages that terrify us into believing that we must pay any price, assume any debt, to stop the enemies who, we are told, lurk at our doorsteps. The EHM system - employing false economics, bribes, surveillance, deception, debt, coups, assassinations, and unbridled military power - has become the dominant system of economics, government, and society today. It has created what Perkins calls a "death economy". But Perkins offers hope: He concludes with dozens of specific, concrete suggestions for actions all of us can take to wrest control of our world away from the economic hit men and help give birth to a life economy.

©2004 John Perkins (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

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Don't waste your credits.

Excellent story and initial descriptions, the last four chapters were needless and nullified the author's credibility. He could have left off the section of the text where he slips into emotional pleas about activism. I probably shouldn't expect anymore out of a bourgeois boomer attempting to repent for crimes against humanity, conveniently well after his financial position is well secured for life, reminiscent of Al Gore and his more convenient timing. Substantive on the surface, nullified by the presenter.

4 people found this helpful

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a must read for every free thinker!

have heard about this book before but was skeptic about some of the testimonies in the first version, this version answers alot of questions and creates even more, which is awesome!

2 people found this helpful

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Must read

Opens eyes, surfaces truth, points reality, educates minds all in one book. It will change your projection and perception of globalization.

2 people found this helpful

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Great start, poor finish

It was an interesting start, lot of great insight into American expansion using economic means. At the same time after he left his position I don’t think there was much substantial new information. It reads like that guy who can definitely tell a story to make it sound better than it actually happened. In the end what would have made this book good in the second half would be some actual insight into the Chinese EHM program in Asia and in Africa where this is happening right now. In the end his morality got the best of him and I had to sit through a few hours of endless talking points and broken misguided thoughts on how to reform world economics so we can live is this beautiful green economy where equality reigns supreme. To read into it a bit more he was just a mid level guy separated from a lot of the big decisions, probably could have got pretty high up then left before his time.

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Original Was Better

The author almost had me convinced until he started citing people like Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul as examples to be followed. We now know thet we’re two of the most corrupt people in history.

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Lots of insight and history

Lots of insight about tons of events. Not really sure what he expects people to do individually against the military complex.

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Ripped off the world and starting new

This author ripped of the world for decades and does a good job of explaining it. Towards the end of the book he takes a hard turn towards socialism and communism in a dressed up package to encourage the new form of economic hit men. The great reset is just another attempt to gather the western worlds resources this time around.

Good listen just up to his old tricks again in a new way. Could get rid of ch 47 and replace it with gather the evidence and hold people accountable, instead its just more pandering into another EHM system.

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Events sort of accurate but author's involvement?

Started listening to the original version, which is much lower quality, without chapter titles, with a lower quality reading performance, Finished with the added chapters of the New version, which has chapter titles and a better audio performance. Don't bother with the original, jump straight to the New version, which includes all the original plus more recent events.

Early on in the book, all I could think of was 'this guy thinks he's the Zelig Gump of EHMs', present at every major economic hit of the 20th century. So I quickly assumed he'd pinned the key real events and wrote a somewhat interesting personal fantasy around them involving himself.

While the EHM pattern is established and oft repeated, there was precious little detail about the Hows, Whos and Whats of the events actually transpiring and described. A few more names, a few more swiss bank accounts, a few more maneuvers and hits might have made this more worthwhile, and more credible.

The last few chapters of 'regret' were nauseating frankly. "I made a ton of money ruining whole countries' futures and now I feel really terrible about it so please everybody get involved locally and make a difference yourselves". Ugh!

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In 2021 this version is already obsolete

Loved the original Confessions of an Economic Hitman but listening to the updated version from 2015 isn't worth your time. Purchase the original book or audio book you can thank me later.

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I expected more from this

I first heard of the original version of this book on a podcast many years ago but forgot to check it out. When I saw an updated version had been released, I figured this was a great time to jump in as I wanted to hear more about this concept of economic hitmen. The book isn't bad but it's not what I expected.

What I wanted was a deep dive into this corporate dystopian sounding concept, and a soup to nuts explanation of how these hitmen have accomplished what they have and the influence they've had on our world's geopolitics. This stuff coming from a man who was on the inside I thought could be very insightful, especially after hearing how the author has regularly received threats (some of which have been acted on) for speaking out against this. In reality, only about half of the book deals with his life as an economic hitman and doesn't go very deep into it. The top level concepts are certainly explained well and some examples of his own work are given but they don't go into substantial detail and don't cover anything beyond what the author himself experienced. I frankly expected a lot more stories and a lot more detail.

The second half of the book (which I think is mostly the new content in this revision) just talks about the author's life and work after he left the economic hitman profession and spend several chapters railing against modern corporate culture and values and giving people nebulous concepts about what they can do to improve things, concepts that clearly just assume everyone shares the same, fairly light burdens and challenges in life. These lectures border on being hippie-ish at times and read like someone who is still in a significant position of privilege, talking down to others and expecting those with far less flexibility and opportunities to make sometimes significant sacrifices to neuter a corporate supremecy that will just find another way to exploit them anyway. Don't get me wrong, I agree with all the core arguments made in these latter sections but the tone is rather pretentious and patronizing and the ideals rather naive. And it's not what I came to this book looking for.

This isn't a bad book and what it does deliver is interesting and compelling, there just should have been a lot more to the economic hitman part and a lot less of the TED talking.

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  • Zikomo
  • 2017-06-17

Starts off interesting, but a lot of it is filler

The author pretends to take responsibility for his actions, but is really looking to do some virtue signalling. On the one hand, he admits that the bad stuff happened because guys like him (and worse guys) used lies, threats and even violence to force foreign leaders to make bad decisions. But he also wants us to believe that the economic problems in the world are the fault of free market capitalism. It's ridiculous. Free market capitalism is very much opposed to the practices that he describes in the book, and yet he wants to blame capitalism and sympathize with left wing terrorists.

21 people found this helpful

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  • Bill Redfield
  • 2016-02-24

Don't buy the first "confessions. .." buy this one

A lot of repeat information for about the first half with some, not much more detail or clarity of the first book. So I wouldn't waste the money buying the first rendering. The remaining 15 or so chapters are packed full of new and some repeat information for clarity purposes because there is a lot going on.
Now about the content, it had and has me pissed off knowing all the misinformation that has been pushed to the general public while the greedy bastards are still continuing to conquer, destroy, kill, manipulate, ..... and no one is held accountable. The outsiders pay dearly on a continuous basis without the slightest smidgen of guilt or compassion. Pure evil is the best way to describe it.

108 people found this helpful

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  • theboot
  • 2017-05-07

Good message garbled in self-pity

This book could've been 25%, possibly 35% shorter if the author spent less time wading around in guilt and self-pity and spent more time on the details of the mini-stories and the overall message. A worthwhile read if you can block out the annoying interludes of guilt confessions.

17 people found this helpful

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  • D. Fawkes
  • 2020-01-27

Bits of gold in utter garbage

I will start out with this.
John makes some solid points about modern economic system, and had some excellent insight into the US/Saudi Arabia link. If you start panning, you'll find some good bits. But around those good bits is solid trash. Like turned up to 3.5x and wishing for 4x levels of a mix of self-flagatation and explaining how its not really his fault, while also pushing his personal new-age philosophy.

I will also say the US is far from saintly on the international stage, but is no worse than anyone else (And better than most) when you compare the US's actions to what adversaries and contemporaries get up to. But you'll find no nuance here, only praise for dictators and mass murders simply because they were on the other side of table from the US.

The interesting bits about the real workings of international finance, and the way the media controls the information. But for example, when discussing Panama he leaves out key events, such as Norriega declaring war on the US and US citizens and service personnel being attacked and killed by Panamanian forces. There is plenty wrong with how Just Cause went down, but insufficient provocation is not one of them.
In the lead up to the first gulf war, John leaves out the massive loans Iraq took from its neighbors - which it invaded to try to cancel - focusing only on how its all the US' doing. (which again, is not to say that US' actions didn't play a role, but it was not the primary mover)

Intermixed with all of this, John invites readers (listeners?) to come join his cult in the rainforest.

So if you're looking to hear how everything the America does is wrong, and anyone - literally anyone - counter to that is 100% great with no bad side for 12 hours, this is the book for you. If you want some nuance and actual perspective on how international finance plays out, this isn't the book for you.

John has nothing good to say about the US. But for some reason or another hasn't tried to emigrate to Ecuador or any of the other countries he praises. I wonder why that is.

13 people found this helpful

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  • alan
  • 2016-05-09

Time to Open our Eyes - and Say Enough!

After listening to The Creature from Jekyll Island and others, The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man really is a eye opener and it fills in the gaps. This book is a must listen if you really want to understand what is going on in the global economy. If your concerned for the environment and why the World Bank says they want to eradicate global poverty but in fact are the agents who support global corporations to rape the 3rd world, then your ready to swallow the red pill and buy this book.

31 people found this helpful

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  • Luca
  • 2016-05-20

Read, read, read!!

This book is a must read, especially for any American who may be struggling to understand the world we live in today and what role the US plays in it.

41 people found this helpful

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  • jksc2011
  • 2016-05-08

Vivid accounts of historic hidden truth, it's a...

Sad Necessary Awakening to the Real State of the Union. This updated edition brings us right up to 2015 atrocities and sources of hope and action.

17 people found this helpful

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  • Perpetual
  • 2016-05-01

Confirmations of Fear

This book confirms much of what you fear goes on among massive multinational corporations and our governments. Much of the "aid" we send other countries through various financial mechanisms is a veiled attempt at strangling them with debt and dependences as those countries develop. Perkins does a great job sharing the behind the scenes activity and the reasons for it, painting a complete picture of the things we suspected were happening. Perhaps the only negative about this book is that some of the later chapters get washed out with generic suggestions to prevent this in the future albeit a very positive message. When even our political system is used against us, keeping us fighting unimportant battles with each other, it is hard to accept a simple message of buying goods from good companies and acting in good conscience after the level of moral disregard and wanton malevolence is made clear.

19 people found this helpful

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  • Jonathan Love
  • 2016-08-17

More like Liberal Hit Piece

A friend recommended this book to me and, although I know his political positions, he revealed a limited premise that really got me excited. What I found, however, was chapter after chapter of a mea culpa by a man who, while self-admittedly escaping his puritanical upbringing, claims to have known he was doing wrong, but did it anyway.

The story is actually fascinating, but rings hollow as not once during the book does he give any detail of being an economic hit man. In fact the book reads more like a loosely, tied-together, string of Wikipedia entries wherein he inserts himself into that history and then blames Capitalism for every death around the world that could plausibly be related to a western company's market entrance.

All that being said, there's plenty in this book that I do believe and admire Mr. Perkins for writing a generalized book of a highly slanted perspective of 'Corporatocracy'. At the end of the day, much of this stuff can't be denied, regardless of personal political persuasion. For me, it's really not so much the problems (although hyperbole doesn't help anyone) I disagree with, it's the solutions proposed (e.g., government sponsored via tax-payer dollars) which only continues the cycle of fraud and filling the coffers of other companies.

If only Mr. Perkins left out the political partisanship (although in two instances he does mention Democrat party officials as facilitators and benefactors of said Corporatocracy), provided some details of how his economic forecasts actually forced governments to accept these loans, some context to his accusations via similar countries that didn't accept the economic incentives and their parallel growth, and didn't just throw crap up to see what sticks (i.e., one of his last chapters he just starts citing random articles that he thinks may corroborate his work, but also says he didn't do any vetting of the articles themselves), I might have been more swayed to what he was peddling.

Apparently as an Economic Hit Man, Mr. Perkins was superb since he managed to stay and grow in that field, but I seriously doubt his claims of "recruitment by the NSA" led to anything more than a peripheral interest in him due to his association with the son of a foreign dignitary. Also, his writing and conclusions aren't the work of any seasoned intelligence officer as they are laced with conjecture, hyperbole, speculation, and partiality.

The narrator was superb and I was able to listen at 3x speed without any problem; audio was clear and crisp.

88 people found this helpful

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  • Nick Kean
  • 2017-04-13

Good start, pathetic last half

After enjoying the first half of the book I was thoroughly disappointed with the rest. If I wanted to hear about shamanic healing and tree hugging I'd have bought a different book. The author thinks he's James Bond but comes across as more of a Walter Mitty.

27 people found this helpful