March 14, 2006 Author of "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" to Speak on April 10
Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Science, Technology and Business Division (202) 707-5664
Author John Perkins will discuss his book “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” at the Library of Congress at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, April 10, in the Mumford Room on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C.
Copies of the book, which has been on The New York Times paperback bestseller list for several weeks, will be available for purchase and signing. The event, sponsored by the Library’s Science, Technology and Business Division, is free and open to the public.
In his book, Perkins describes his experiences as an economist of an international consulting firm whose job was to persuade strategically important developing countries, such as Panama and Indonesia, to accept enormous loans for infrastructure development and then to ensure that the lucrative projects were contracted out to U.S. corporations. According to Perkins, when it became impossible to repay these huge debts, the United States government, the World Bank or U.S.-influenced aid agencies would step in and place the countries in a trusteeship of sorts, dictating their spending budgets and other policies.
Although Perkins has drawn enthusiastic audiences on the lecture circuit, and his book has met with commercial success, he has drawn critics, among them the U.S. Department of State, which has taken issue with some of his assertions.
Following his life as an "economic hit man," Perkins founded and later assumed the chairmanship of a successful alternative energy company. After selling this company in 1990, he became a champion for indigenous rights and environmental movements, working closely with Amazon tribes to help them preserve their rain forests.
Perkins has written five books about indigenous cultures, shamanism, ecology and sustainability; taught at universities and learning centers on four continents; and founded and served on the board of directors of several leading nonprofit organizations, including Dream Change, a Web site cited by Time magazine for its excellence in reflecting the ideals and goals of Earth Day.