John Perkins Writing Styles in Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

John Perkins
This Study Guide consists of approximately 28 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.
This section contains 606 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)

Perspective

The entire book is written in the first person and is a narrative account of the life that John Perkins led as an economic hit man. He was molded into an EHM before he even knew what was happening. He fell into the job, and once in, found it hard to escape. He always wanted people to know about what he was doing, and, thus, throughout his career learned all he needed to know about the corporate empire and later exposed it in order to try to help people. The book is intended to be read by everyone, especially Americans who live in the U.S. and have the power to change things. He agrees that this is hard because most Americans, especially those that vote, are quite comfortable living their lives without knowing how others suffer in order for them to live well. The expected impact on the reader is for them to be shocked, take a look at themselves and want to change things. It is meant to move the reader and reveal the shocking truth of what John calls modern-day slavery.

Tone

The tone of the book is completely subjective to John's feelings, as it is a confession. His aim to to get the reader to understand the way the corporate empire is devouring smaller nations and essentially using the people within the countries as modern-day slaves. He wants people to feel guilty for indirectly enslaving people in third world countries. He wants them to stop using so much oil and to stop buying clothes and things made in third world countries in sweatshops. At first he is very revealing, and he aims at telling the reader that he fell into the trap of materialism. While he always had the intention of revealing his story, he led the life too long and it ended up killing him on the inside. His tone switches to regret, and then to a desire to take action. While he never apologizes for everything that he has done, he knows that it has affected millions of lives, and he understands that what he has done is make it easier for everyone else to continue the cycle. The corporate empire started with its economic soldiers, and the people behind them keep the empire alive. The reader is left to feel guilty, astonished and to want to change.

Structure

The book is divided in four major parts and thirty-five chapters. The first part is about John Perkins' life from 1963-1971, and is the beginning of his life to when he first realized he was selling his soul to the corporate empire. The second part is from 1971-1975, and is based on his role as an EHM. In Part three, 1975-1981, he writes about his ailing conscience and the need to reveal what he was doing to the world. He quits during this time and starte a new life. Part four is about his new life, which really isn't too different because he is still involved in the same line of work, though he is an indirect contributor. He finishes with a long dialogue on listening to one's conscience and doing the right thing. This is a good structure for the book because it breaks up a series of events in the different stages of John Perkins' life. Each stage is a period of realization, reevaluation and action. He provides a lot of background when introducing pieces in world history and never leaves the reader in the historical dark. At the end, he gives insight to the current world situation and forecasts what could happen if things don't change.

This section contains 606 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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