Behrman, Greg 1976- (Greg Marc Behrman)
Behrman, Greg 1976- (Greg Marc Behrman)
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.
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.
The Most Noble Adventure: The Marshall Plan and the Time When America Helped Save Europe, Free Press (New York, NY), 2007.
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."
Behrman's next offering, The Most Noble Adventure: The Marshall Plan and the Time When America Helped Save Europe, was published in 2007 in time to mark the sixtieth anniversary of the announcement of the plan that some consider the most generous and most forward-thinking political decision of the century. The Marshall Plan was a massive American program to finance and plan the rebuilding of Western Europe. Along with the Truman Doctrine, which called for a defense of Western Europe against the Soviet Union, and the efforts of NATO, the Plan acted as a strong defense of democracy against the threat of communist rule. The Soviet Union had occupied Eastern Europe at the end of World War II and instituted communist governments in the countries under their control. It was feared that communism would spread to the weakened countries of Western Europe as well. In addition, the political policies set in place at that point also served as a behavioral precedent for the United States' future actions abroad. Ernest W. Lefever, in a review for the Weekly Standard, referred to Behrman's youth, and commented that he "reflects the enthusiasm of a newcomer to the momentous events that gave birth to the Marshall Plan, and introduces a new generation to the giants who wrought this miracle. He leaves few stones unturned in his long march through mountains of documents." A contributor for Kirkus Reviews concluded: "Berhman's sure grasp of the geo-politics, his firm understanding of the Plan's details and his deft portrayal of the men who made it work combine to forge a remarkable story."
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; June 15, 2007, review of The Most Noble Adventure: The Marshall Plan and the Time When America Helped Save Europe.
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.
Weekly Standard, December 24, 2007, Ernest W. Lefever, "Man with a Plan," review of The Most Noble Adventure.
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."