Bob's Links and Rants

Welcome to my rants page! You can contact me by e-mail: Blog roll. Site feed.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Finishing off the hit man

In my review of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man yesterday, I forgot to mention one of the main reasons I didn't like the book: Perkins failed to do even the most cursory fact-checking, getting basic time sequences wrong. He describes a January 2003 newspaper article about Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, followed by a paragraph describing the failed coup attempt against Chavez--clearly implying that the coup occurred after the article, when in fact it was eight months before. Similarly, he describes the tide of US support for Panamanian President Manuel Noriega turning with the publishing of a news article in 1986. He then says that President Bush (41) was trying to overcome the "wimp factor" at about the same time, ignoring the fact that Bush 41 didn't become president until 1989, and didn't brutally invade Panama until December of that year.

These were cases where I was familiar with the actual timelines and knew for sure that Perkins was wrong. This of course makes me doubt the other "facts" in the book, although fortunately there were very few facts in the book to doubt (unless you really care about the exact details of his numerous moments of angst about his crimes, spread over three decades, all while continuing to commit those crimes).

Some books are simply bad--boring and/or poorly written. Others are infuriatingly bad, pissing me off in multiple ways that stick with me for days. This book falls in that category. I read the book hoping to learn more about globalization and how it destroys countries, and maybe find some juicy quotes for the blog. Instead, all I learned is that John Perkins is a self-centered whiner, and a bad writer to boot. What a waste of time.