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Publisher's Summary

John Perkins has seen the signs of today's economic meltdown before. The subprime mortgage fiascos, the banking industry collapse, the rising tide of unemployment, the shuttering of small businesses across the landscape are all too familiar symptoms of a far greater disease. In his former life as an economic hit man, he was on the front lines both as an observer and a perpetrator of events, once confined only to the third world, that have now sent the United States - and in fact the entire planet - spiraling toward disaster. Here, Perkins pulls back the curtain on the real cause of the current global financial meltdown. He shows how we've been hoodwinked by the CEOs who run the corporatocracy - those few corporations that control the vast amounts of capital, land, and resources around the globe - and the politicians they manipulate. These corporate fat cats, Perkins explains, have sold us all on what he calls predatory capitalism, a misguided form of geopolitics and capitalism that encourages a widespread exploitation of the many to benefit a small number of the already very wealthy. Their arrogance, gluttony, and mismanagement have brought us to this perilous edge. The solution is not a "return to normal". But there is a way out.
As Perkins makes clear, we can create a healthy economy that will encourage businesses to act responsibly, not only in the interests of their shareholders and corporate partners (and the lobbyists they have in their pockets), but in the interests of their employees, their customers, the environment, and society at large.
We can create a society that fosters a just, sustainable, and safe world for us and our children. Each one of us makes these choices every day, in ways that are clearly spelled out in this book. "We hold the power", he says, "if only we recognize it."
Hoodwinked is a powerful polemic that shows not only how we arrived at this precarious point in our history but also what we must do to stop the gl...
©2009 John Perkins (P)2009 Random House
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By BruceK on 02-20-12

Concise world view by very problematic author

In a way I feel hoodwinked by the author now that I have read his 3 major books because they all say the same thing in a long and drawn out way … and I have to say if you want to buy one of these books get the last ones and skip paying money for repetition.

I believe Perkins describes the world of the "corporatocracy" as he sees it and has apparently experienced it well. It seems to make sense and be consistent.

My problem is Perkins himself. Here is a guy who has everything, he operated as a self-described hit man (economic) for some long amount of time, enough to amass a lot of wealth, power and a network, and only then he turned on his masters and his way of life and wrote a rather superficial expose. Perkins has his cake and eats it too. What did he really do, and what is he holding back? He must have lots of "EHM" connections around the world whose stories he could add to his books,and describe more of how this corporatocracy works instead of handwaving.

Certainly the names are changed, and the story rings enough true that he does not have to get, nor does he get very specific about much that he writes about. Towards the end almost in order to avoid being specific he starts to get new-agey about the whole subject and has in fact apparently written books about shape-shifting, turning into animals or existing on the spirtual plane … which seems to me to appeal to a certain kind of not very analytic reader. It seems that is the audience he is aiming for … the folks who are not very analytical or logical. Do a search on Google for blogs where his stuff gets mentioned and you can see what I mean. If this guy was really who and what he claimed I would think he could appeal to a more intellectual crowd.

So as I read Perkins' books I am stuck in uncertainty of the value of reading the book. Although most of the ideas Perkins discusses I knew about from reading political books for a long time, Perkins gets away with really doing very little work except storytelling in all of this books. Perkins feels like a con man to me and that is my problem with his books and his ideas. I think there is much more depth and more hidden agenda here than Perkins lets on, and he carefully truncates any mention of anything beyond the simplistic ideas he sells sensationalistically.

Does he get specific, no. Perkins is just another voice in the wilderness among many people who profit from all these awful things by writing about them, but what is he doing about except taking trips all over the world with celebrities and playing both sides of the issue. That does not help anything, and nothing in the books really explains how to change things.

Maybe he is even right about things, there is nothing else to do but join em if you can't beat em, but I don't think Perkins' books do much other than add to the author's celebrity and bank account.

If you are unfamiliar with Perkins' ideas and feel you have to know what he is all about I would just recommend reading whatever his latest book it, aside from the new age books on spirituality, because if you've read one you've read them all, and they do get better as he writes more. I am sure he will keep at it and maybe even hopefully really pull back the curtain and what is going on and the big plan for the world and who is driving it where, or he could just keep churning our retreads.

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13 of 14 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By John on 04-23-13

A Rambling, Pontificating, Manifesto

This book was an exhausting look at a man on a soap box waxing eloquently philosophical about American foreign and domestic policy. With an opening sentence like the one I just typed, you might think that I disagreed with the author. On the contrary, I agreed with almost every view he expresses in this book but having read "Confessions of an Economic Hitman" just a couple of weeks ago I can tell you that, that book is all you really need.

The first third of this book is a recap of "Confessions..." mentioned above. The second third is filled with anecdotes like (I'm paraphrasing), 'When I went to China the MBA students knew so much more than ours...', When I was in Ecuador I met people who understood nature...' The rest of the book degenerates into well-worded fluff with lots of statements like, 'We've got to reign in...', 'We the people have the power to...', 'Governments must tackle climate change...' and on and on,,,

I've never before been so thoroughly disappointed listening to something I agreed with entirely. If you are a Progressive, you could buy this book just to hear someone say all the things you've always wanted to hear--or--you can read something that provides evidence to go along with the words because this book provides no evidence at all for the opinions expressed within. It's like a candy bar. It provides a burst of energy that seems filling but is lacking in real substance.

My compliments to the narrator though. He did a miraculous job, all things considered.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By catherine jeffrey on 02-18-16

Ethical hammer to predatory capitalism

John Perkins former EHM persists as the gadfly in the side of the states. Continuing from confessions of a former economic hit man he develops the solutions to the problems of Friedman's economics including 1) the destabilising effects of massive loans to developing nations 2) the problems of personal debt experienced by individuals the world over 3) the social and emotional passion required to motivate the leaders of the USA, Europe and the wold towards trade that internalises externalities , greens up and becomes fair trade to its core.

What a brilliant read/listen

Criticisms - he's WAY to easy on the Chinese and doesn't discuss the negative aspects of the UK and Europe enough.

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5 out of 5 stars
By Neil on 01-17-16

A great follow on from Confessions of a Economic Hitman

This is a challenging and highly engaging book, I like the easy references to quite complex issues. The content required going back over a few times, but still was an enjoyment to listen to. If you fancy being challenged about the world around you, and wish to consider a different way to think and engage with the world around you, this is a must. It is also highly empowering to the individual who feels that their voice is never heard.

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