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January 22, 2007

Rohit Reviews: Confessions of an Economic Hitman

Over the holidays, I had the chance to read John Perkins Confessions of an Economic Hitman, a purported exposé of America's shady economic dealings with developing nations in the post-World War II era. In a narrative that reads like fiction—maybe it is—Perkins weaves a tale linking his own work as an economist at a strategy consulting firm into a conspiracy theory encompassing most major geopolitical events of the past sixty years; everything from the Iran hostage crisis of 1979–1981 to the 1989 Panama invasion makes the cut.

Though the book is definitely a page-turner (I read it in just two nights), I would be hard-pressed to say I believed everything it ventured outright. Most, if not all, of Perkins' claims are consistent with with what little I know about modern economic history, but the political analysis is often simplistic (i.e., good vs. evil) and the proof often scarce. Being the prodigious student of history that I am (ha!), I would not be surprised if everything in this book turned out to be the utter truth; however, as it stands, I cannot fall behind one narrative as the be-all, end-all of modern history. At the very least, the book is quite interesting and makes for an enticing read. I know it stoked my interest in the subject. I will be looking for more books on the subject in the coming months. Overall, three stars out of five. Check it out if you have the chance.


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