The original Confessions was released in 2004. It largely told the story of the author’s time as an Economic Hit Man (EHM) where he had a hand in deals to use loans, aid and bribes to control various countries and their leaders.
At the time it was released it was unlikely to be particularly revelatory, given how much of these secret worlds had been exposed Most of the author’s own exploits date back to the 1970s, with him having left the ‘trade’ in the 1980s. Had he written and released the book at that point it might have made more of a splash. As it is, it’s a watered down conscious pleaser.
As he didn’t, there’s very little to surprise and what there is has scant evidence to back it up. Most of the stories go into almost no detail.
Slowly ideas of a more existential nature start to appear — well after he’s made plenty of money I would add, if I were of a cynical mind — and as talk of a ‘life economy’ takes over it starts to sound more like a spiritual guide than an economics discussion.
It’s read nicely enough by Tom Taylorson, allowing for the usual American pronounciations. His twang is a little more cowboy than perhaps the material warrants but not an issue. I’m not sure the sections at the end where things the reader could do and lists of publications are read out are necessary, in the audiobook at least. The last one-two hours is a waste of time.
For me, the book didn’t add anything you wouldn’t know already if you’d read a paper or dug into the news at any point in the last couple of decades. I’m not saying it’s a bad book, just that there are better insights out there.
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Audiobook copy of the book
Reviewed: 9th November 2016