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The Secret History of the American Empire

Economic Hit Men, Jackals, and the Truth about Corporate Corruption
Lu par : Jonathan Davis
Durée : 11 h et 3 min

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Description

In his stunning memoir, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, John Perkins detailed his former role as an "hit man" operating within the international corporate skullduggery of a de facto American Empire. That riveting, behind-the-scenes exposé unfolded like a cinematic blockbuster told through the eyes of a man who once helped shape that empire.

Now, in The Secret History of the American Empire, Perkins zeroes in on hot spots around the world and, drawing on interviews with other hit men, jackals, reporters, and activists, examines the current geopolitical crisis. Instability is the norm; it's clear that the world we've created is dangerous and no longer sustainable. How did we get here? Who's responsible? What good have we done and at what cost? And what can we do to change things for the next generations? Addressing these questions and more, Perkins reveals the secret history behind the events that have created the American Empire.

From the U.S. military in Iraq to infrastructure development in Indonesia, from Peace Corps volunteers in Africa to jackals in Venezuela, Perkins exposes a conspiracy of corruption that has fueled instability and anti-Americanism around the globe. Alarming yet hopeful, this book provides a compassionate plan for reimagining our world.

©2007 John Perkins (P)2007 Penguin Audio, a member of Penguin Group (USA), Inc. All rights reserved.

Commentaires

"A sweeping, bold assault on the tyranny of corporate globalization, full of drama and adventure, with devastating stories of greed run wild. But Perkins is undaunted, and offers imaginative ideas for a different world." (Howard Zinn, author of A People's History of the United States)

Ce que les auditeurs disent de The Secret History of the American Empire

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  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael
  • 17/02/2009

A good read

The first part of the book is basically a rehash of "Confessions.." with a tad more detail. Nonetheless, its a good read and important documentation of our true history.

4 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Harry
  • 17/08/2007

Excellent - buy it now!

I found this book a fascinating sequel to John Perkins "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man." "Secret History" includes more detailed information about the whys and hows of the urgent need to challenge the drift of modern life. (I liked the reader, too. He did a great job,subtly and miraculously assuming several foreign accents-CORRECTLY!)

Rather than bestsellers on how to manipulate the modern US lifestyle to best achieve Hedon, narcissistic, material comfort and that relegate those who don't aspire to such as "losers," this book deals with the scary side of realness.

Perkins presents fascinating insights into the mentality of other EHM's (many who seem to have sought him out after his first book came out)whose consciences are throbbing. Though Perkins presents some titillating insights into lives of the rich and powerful -like the parts about geishas--it's clear that's never the underlying point. His analysis always comes down on the side of the historical underdog. He also points out how the exploited are not unaware of their plight, and often see the bigger picture faster and clearer than those who are living the privileged life on a daily basis. I like how he included historical anecdotes to connect present with past.

Perkins gives a few suggestions for action that I personally found useful, and have followed up on. I felt hopeless after reading "Confessions." After "Secret History" I realized that powerful men engaged in destructive decision-making will at very least sometimes listen to other men they think they respect, and who may be able to successfully present them with either new perceptions, or with more real assessments of their impact. I think Riane Eisler' new book about broadening the definition of the current concept of "economics" would compliment this book well.

I hope for more from John Perkins! And I hope more like him will write the hidden histories that account for the mess we are in.

26 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Benedict
  • 04/07/2012

Good enough but ... listen to Confessions first

This books seems like a rewrite of Confessions of an Economic Hitman.

I highly recommend that book over this. Confessions of an Economic Hitman is one of the most important books ever written to explain how the world really, really works.

The author is one of the guys who really did the stuff that makes other nations refer to us as "Damn Yankees." Author Perkins had his feet on the ground and tells us the words and daily activities he used to break the economies of many contries around the world.

He was there during the Arab Embargo in the early 1970s and was helpful in solving that problem. The solution is astonishing even today.

2 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ellen
  • 02/03/2009

Life-changing

One of the best books I ever listened to, even though it is not about mellifluous prose or any literary devices. It is even better than Confessions of an Economic Hitman. Read this today and get your eyes opened. Once you know what really goes on you can not go back to your illusions.

5 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Chi-Hung
  • 23/11/2009

Interesting but poorly substentiated

As a left leaning liberal, I found this book interesting, there are some truth in the book, such as the negative effect of US agricultural subsidy on African farmers and the length US goes to for national interest, however, the book ran away with accusation with clandestine operations that made James Bonds seem like angels of moderation. I agree with his moral conclusion, but for a academic polemic, it needs more substantiated proof.

7 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Christina
  • 06/08/2010

Somewhat repititious of economic hitman

As with his other books Perkins discribes how uncontrolled corporate power backed up by CIA and military have created an economic empire. Repeats many of the themes of confessions of an economic hitman. Whats new here is suggestion about what we can do to change the ssytem and what has been done by NGO's etc. I think Oliver Stone could combine the books and make a worthwhile movie.

3 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • J. Salz
  • 21/02/2010

Eye opening, exciting, outstanding, and SAD

Everyone in America should read this book. Changed the way I fundamentally looked at things. Whether your conservative or liberal this book has value to what America has been and may be.

1 personne a trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Elton
  • 02/08/2007

Nothing New

I am not exactly sure why Mr. Perkins found it necessary to write this volume. His Economic Hitman book pretty much covered everything he talked about here. There was a spattering of additions from a couple of outside people, whom are rarely, if ever, identified. There are a couple of extra stories, but if you read/listened to his previous book you are not much surprised by anything offered here.
One tip though, high class Filipino prostitutes in Indonesia are not geisha...they may call themselves geisha, but they are better explained as high class prostitutes. My friends here in Japan were quite confused when I talked to them about that passage.

13 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • marwalk
  • 12/10/2020

A practical road map to reforming capitalism

Published over a decade ago, this book is even more relevant today—providing a practical road map to reforming the corporate oligarchy and shutting down exploitative capitalism. John Perkins starts by recounting much of this history in a first person narrative—context and background that were deliberately omitted from the history books and live media reports we've all grown up with. This book fills in gaps of what you may already have known about events such as the installation of the Shah in Iran or the Pinochet government in Chile. Perkins illuminates how these seemingly remote details have a direct connection to the relatively comfortable lives enjoyed by middle class people in the developed world—many of whom are oblivious to their being on the menu for similar exploitation and oppression. Perkins takes the reader on a world tour encompassing south Asia, South America, the Middle East, and Africa. It's a first hand account of bribes, threats, and assassinations—whatever it takes—to secure resources, power, and influence for multi-national corporations. Governments, including the US Government, are for the most part just tools of this power structure, relegated to doing its bidding and taking the blame for its excesses and other mistakes. On display in these accounts are the abject poverty of sweat shop workers, the forced compromise of officials elected by large majorities to serve the interests of their people, the displacement of populations that are simply in the way of land coveted by client corporations, and the wanton devastation of natural resources—all for the sake of short term profits. Many people mistakenly believed that the election of Barack Obama a year after the publication of this book would result in a reversal of the oligarch-friendly orientation of the outgoing Bush administration. Although this book was written prior to the Obama administration, it provides a ready explanation of why such a transformation never occurred. At the current time (2020 just prior to the November election) the actions of the Trump administration and Senate Republicans have laid bare for many who were not aware already the unholy influence corporate oligarchs have on all levels of government and society—it's correctly called fascism. Knowing this background, a possible (likely at this time) incoming Biden administration would not, by itself, result in the full course correction needed. Whether Biden wins or, possibly through some Electoral College sleight of hand, there is a second Trump term, the bad habits of the corporate oligarchy will not automatically go away. Its reformation will need a little help from its friends—you and me. Economic inequity, further accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, has reached the point that simmering beneath the surface is an increasing impetus for (still unlikely, fortunately) revolution. Such an event would be disastrous by any account—not only do the wrong people have a fondness for guns, but corporate jackals are well trained and practiced for this exact situation. Even if the "good" side prevails in any fighting, the instinct (or actual need) to crack down on remaining opposition could still snuff out any remaining hint of functional democracy—we don't need another Robespierre's la Terreur. And the corporate oligarchs would be stronger than ever. What to do? Perkins' book from 2007 provides a practical approach that's viable in our own decade—become a stock holder and start changing things from the inside. Any person or organization can purchase stock in any publicly owned company, and stock holders have a place at the table in setting company policy. Start rewarding corporate executives for being socially responsible. Demand long range planning over short term profits—after all, you're the investor. Demand fair treatment of workers, and include them on company boards. Better yet, insist that local community members are included on company boards. All the Federalist Society judges in all the packed courts would have minimal influence on internal corporate deliberations. In the book, Perkins describes how some non-profit organizations were doing just that in 2007. A concerted similar effort among a critical mass of NGOs today could magnify small donor impact. Even with the Citizens United decision still standing (another event after this book's publication), corporate messages could be very different from what they are now. The ideas in this book appear to have stood the test of time. It's cause for hope—and action.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Coyote
  • 04/09/2020

Great book and brave author!

Great eye opening account of the realpolitik of how the corpactocracy works hand in hand with govt to advance it’s own interests principles be dammed. Well written and well documented. Thank you John Perkins!