The Secret History of the American Empire

  • by John Perkins
  • Narrated by Jonathan Davis
  • 11 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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.


What the Critics Say

"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)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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.
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- Harry

Off the deep end

While I enjoy books from authors and topics opposite of my own views, within minutes of starting this book I got the "this guy's supposed personal story sounds like fiction . . . and not very good fiction at that." Conspiracy craziness packaged into a fictional biography. The cap for me was when the author described Che Guevara as a "Argentinian doctor" with interest in helping indigenous people and chose Bolivia as a focus, who happened to have the support of Cuba. Geesh. I can't recall the last time I read something so absurd from an author pedaling a political story. Che was Fidel Castro's right hand man in the Cuban revolution, ran the Cuban jails, torture, and death squads!

The negative impacts of globalization and American domination are important issues with some credible arguments for conservatives like I to consider. But this book only convinced me that maybe the core of this movement really is what I see on the streets outside World Bank meetings . . . spoiled college students and trust fund babies dressing like revolutionaries, smashing windows, and generally acting like fools.
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- Amazon Customer

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-23-2007
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio