New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man book rec/review

    The first thing that grabs you attention when you see The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man isn’t the title, but the cover. The cover depicts a bloody world map with a silhouette of a businessman against a stark white background; throwing the words economic and hit man on the cover and it’s an instant intrigue.

    One of my favorite scenes is when Perkins goes to a puppet master’s show with a local he has befriended and the show’s theme has anti-American sentiments to it, which shocks Perkins. The conversation that he has with another local, while attending the show, whom he calls “beautiful English major,” I would consider one of the more memorable moments. If there were a lesson in the book, I think it is at the end of this conversation with the locals and the English major where she says “Stop being so greedy and so selfish. Realize that there is more to the world than your big houses and fancy stores.”

    You get this insight into what it is like working for private companies and the lengths that governments will go to in order to have the upper hand. Things like manipulating numbers to justify a means to an end, attempts to control economic growth factors in countries with large natural resource holdings are not anything new and governments have been known to interfere in other countries to have more power. There are many theories that have been floating around for years that this book brings to light, such as America’s desire to control the oil reserves in the Middle East and wanting to prevent the fall of the Far East into Communism after the USSR began its expansion, as was the case with Vietnam.

    The New Confessions of and Economic Hit Man is one of my favorite books to read so far. I was left conflicted with whether certain things actually happened, like his relationship with Claudine and the claims that he was bribed into not writing the novel multiple times. While reading the book, I felt like it was a mix of both the truth and good storytelling. Certain aspects like looking for Claudine for weeks and feeling betrayed seen like something right out of a story, while other things like the conversation that he had with locals in Indonesia about the US wanting to have control over the Middle East’s oil reserves rings true because years later that is what happened. There have been two wars in the Middle East since this book has been out. One of the questions I was left with after reading the book was that if he was really bribed to not write the book, how did sell so well. If the reaches of the people he worked for were so high, shouldn’t the book have not placed on NYT’s bestseller or done as well as it did?