Behrman, Greg 1976-
BEHRMAN, Greg 1976-
(Greg Marc Behrman)
CAREER: Coordinator for Council on Foreign Relations Roundtable on Improving U.S. Global Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) Policy. Goldman Sachs & Company, New York, NY, worked in principal investment area. Heartbeat, member of board of directors.
MEMBER: Brookings Council, Explorers Club.
The Invisible People: How the U.S. Has Slept through the Global AIDS Pandemic, the Greatest Humanitarian Catastrophe of Our Time, Free Press (New York, NY), 2004.
SIDELIGHTS: Over twenty-five million people worldwide have already died from Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), and by the year 2010, one hundred million people are expected to be infected with the disease. In Africa alone this will result in twenty million orphans and a life expectancy of thirty years or lower for those living in sub-Saharan Africa. Such are the grim statistics Greg Behrman cites in his 2004 title, The Invisible People: How the U.S. Has Slept through the Global AIDS Pandemic, the Greatest Humanitarian Catastrophe of Our Time. Behrman's book, which grew out of a thesis project for his master's degree from Oxford University, takes to task Western governments, in particular the United States, for doing so little in the face of the growing AIDS tragedy. As Booklist reviewer Donna Chavez noted, "Behrman indicts the U.S. specifically because of its status as a wealthy world leader."
According to Behrman, such an avoidance has been the result of "fear," as Chavez further explained, "in the forms of passive racism, homophobia, and denial." Two decades of conservative government in the United States as well as the world-altering fall of communism also contributed to this humanitarian lapse. While research and treatment proceed for the wealthy citizens of the world, poorer and less-developed regions like Africa receive little aid.
Behrman's book received widespread critical attention. Stephanie Fairyington, writing in the Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide, found Behrman's account "a compelling look into the United States' failure to respond to the global AIDS pandemic." Similarly, Library Journal reviewer Grant A. Fredericksen felt the book is "riveting and important," while a reviewer for Publishers Weekly termed it "impassioned but fair." A critic for Kirkus Reviews described The Invisible People as "at once white paper and polemical study of demographic and epidemiological trends—and a hard glimpse of government's role in world healthcare." For Sheri Fink, writing in the New York Times, Behrman's book is "well researched and unsparing."
Susan Hunter, writing in the Advocate, criticized Behrman for sticking "close to the corridors of power" and not really dealing with the invisible people of his title. Hunter, a volunteer in Africa for fifteen years, complained that The Invisible People "has precious little to do with what's happening on the ground." Jennifer Brier, writing in the Chicago Tribune, had a somewhat similar criticism, noting that the work "is certainly compelling, but in focusing all his attention on inaction [Behrman] misses an opportunity to talk about the work being done by non-governmental organizations." However, as Lisa Keen pointed out in the Washington Post Book World, all such criticism may be beside the point, for Behrman's book "may be too late and too far ahead of its time."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Advocate, August 31, 2004, Susan Hunter, review of The Invisible People: How the U.S. Has Slept through the Global AIDS Pandemic, the Greatest Humanitarian Catastrophe of Our Time, p. 64.
Booklist, June 1, 2004, Donna Chavez, review of The Invisible People, p. 1674.
Chicago Tribune, September 5, 2004, Jennifer Brier, review of The Invisible People, p. 1.
Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide, July-August, 2004, Stephanie Fairyington, review of The Invisible People, p. 43.
Kirkus Reviews, April 15, 2004, review of The Invisible People, p. 370.
Library Journal, July, 2004, Grant A. Fredericksen, review of The Invisible People, p. 102.
Nation, September 13, 2004, Sheila M. Rothman, review of The Invisible People, p. 56.
New York Times, July 13, 2004, Sheri Fink, review of The Invisible People, p. E6.
Publishers Weekly, April 26, 2004, review of The Invisible People, p. 49.
Washington Post Book World, July 25, 2004, Lisa Keen, review of The Invisible People, p. T4.
BookBrowse, http://www.bookbrowse.com/ (October 7, 2004), interview with Behrman.
Global Envision Web site, http://www.globalenvision.org/ (October 7, 2004), Amanda Howe, interview with Behrman.
ICM Web site, http://www.icmtalent.com/ (October 7, 2004), "Greg Behrman."