A Game As Old As Empire:

The Secret World of Economic Hit Men and the Web of Global Corruption

As a former HQ Public Relations Writer for Bell Canada in the late 60’s, I recall all too well the takeover strategy and tactics of major Canadian corporations and monopolies at that time. They were "nasty, brutish and short."

These now global monopolies work with governments of all sorts around the world to secure and strengthen their strangleholds on the industries and governments concerned. The late comedian Lenny Bruce put it nicely when he quipped, "You **** with Ma Bell and you end up with a Dixie cup and a thread."

A Game of Empire: The Secret World of Economic Hit Men and the Web of Global Corruption will be a read well worth your time.

Mike Heenan,
TNP Literary Editor

Mike Heenan BA, BJ, MA

A Game As Old As Empire: The Secret World of Economic Hit Men and the Web of Global Corruption Edited by Steven Hiatt, Published by Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.

ISBN: 978-1-57675-395-8
A BK Currents Book
Cloth, $24.95
Number of Pages: 312
Pub Date: March 2007

Edited by Steven Hiatt with an introduction by John Perkins, author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

"If my Confessions could send such a strong message to the public, it made sense that multiple confessions—or the stories about people who need to confess—might reach even more people...The intrepid contributors to this book uncover events that have taken place across a wide range of countries, all Economic Hit Man game plans under a variety of guises. Each sheds more light on the building of an empire that is contrary to American principles of democracy and equality." —from the introduction by John Perkins.

John Perkins' controversial exposé, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, came out of nowhere in late 2004 to become an international word-of-mouth sensation. The book hit two New York Times bestseller lists, as well as 30 other national and regional lists across the country. To date, it has sold more than 500,000 copies in the United States alone.

But Confessions of an Economic Hit Man revealed just the tip of the iceberg of the secret world of economic hit men. Now Perkins is joined by a dozen contributors—journalists, investigators, activists, and even other economic hit men in A Game As Old As Empire: The Secret World of Economic Hit Men and the Web of Global Corruption. In chapters covering countries all across the globe the authors tell how multinational corporations, governments, powerful individuals, banks, other financial institutions, and quasi-governmental agencies operate to enrich small elites and corporate coffers while often impoverishing masses of people and creating debt and dependency that economically enslave countries for generations. Each chapter focuses on a particular case from around the world, offering concrete examples of how the economic hit man game is still being played:

The methods that the authors describe range from the clearly sinister (such as bribery, fraud, looting, money laundering, threats, and even the use of "jackals" and other means of violence) to the seemingly altruistic (such as many types of debt relief, development assistance, and foreign aid) that are in fact highly exploitative and onerous. Together these authors and others show how this system of corruption and plunder operates in real life, and reveal the price that the rest of the world pays as a result.

A Game As Old As Empire provides the first full inside look at how this dark and dirty world functions. It shows that the economic hit man game and the web of global corruption are far more widespread, pervasive, and destructive than Perkins described in Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. It concludes with a call to action offering ordinary citizens as well as activists advice about what they can do to confront and change this destructive web of control.

Steven Hiatt has worked as an editor and writer for several Bay Area companies, including Apple Computer, Netscape, Progressive Asset Management, and Stanford Research Institute. He is the editor (with Mike Davis) of Fire in the Hearth: The Radical Politics of Place in America and is president of Editcetera, a cooperative of publishing professionals.

BK Currents titles advance social and economic justice by exploring the critical intersections between business and society. Offering a unique combination of thoughtful analysis and progressive alternatives, BK Currents titles promote positive change at the national and global levels.