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The Invisible People

The Invisible People

How the U.S. Has Slept Through the Global AIDS Pan

The Invisible People is a revealing and at times shocking look inside the United States's response to one of the greatest catastrophes the world has ever known -- the global AIDS crisis. A true story of politics, bureaucracy, disease, internecine warfare, and negligence, it illustrates that while the pandemic constitutes a profound threat to U.S. economic and security interests, at every turn the United States has failed to act in the face of this pernicious menace.

During the past twenty years, more than 65 million people across the globe have become infected with HIV. Already 25 million around the world have died -- more than all of the battle deaths in the twentieth century combined. By decade's end there will be an estimated 25 million AIDS orphans. If trends continue, by 2025, 250 million global HIV-AIDS cases are a distinct possibility.

Beyond the ineffable human toll, the pandemic is reshaping the social, economic, and geopolitical dimensions of our world. Eviscerating national economies, creating an entire generation of orphans, and destroying military capacity, the disease is generating pressures that will lead to instability and possibly even state failure and collapse in sub-Saharan Africa. Poised to explode in Eastern Europe, Russia, India, and China, AIDS will have devastating and destabilizing effects of untold proportions that will reverberate throughout the global economy and the international political order.

In this gripping account that draws on more than two hundred interviews with key political insiders, policy makers, and thinkers, Greg Behrman chronicles the red tape, colossal blunders, monumental egos, power plays, and human pain and suffering that comprise America's woeful response to the AIDS crisis. Behrman's unprecedented access takes you inside the halls of power from seminal White House meetings to tumultuous turf battles at World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva, heated debates in the United Nations, and chilling discoveries at the Centers for Disease Control. Behrman also brings us into the field to meet the people who live in the midst of AIDS devastation in places like a school yard in Namibia, the red-light district in Bombay, and an orphanage in South Africa.

Intensely researched and vividly detailed, The Invisible People is a groundbreaking and compellingly readable account of the appalling destruction caused by more than two decades of American abdication in the face of the defining humanitarian catastrophe of our time.
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  • Free Press | 
  • 372 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439157350 | 
  • January 2009
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About the Author

Greg Behrman
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Greg Behrman

Greg Behrman is the Henry Kissinger Fellow for Foreign Policy at The Aspen Institute. He is the author of The Invisible People: How the U.S. Has Slept Trough the Global AIDS Pandemic, The Greatest Humanitarian Catastrophe of Our Time (Free Press; June 2004). The New York Times called the book, "[w]ell researched and unsparing," and an "important volume." The Baltimore Sun lauded the "eloquent history" as "[m]arvelous." The Washington Post Book World suggested that it was "[a]head of its time."

All of the proceeds from his first book were donated to Heartbeat, a South African-based not-for-profit that provides care for AIDS orphans. Behrman is on Heartbeat's Board of Directors. He was also the Coordinator for the Council on Foreign Relations Roundtable on Improving U.S. Global AIDS Policy.

Behrman has moderated Roundtable events with leading policy makers and experts and has been the featured speaker at The Council on Foreign Relations (Washington D.C.), The Asia Society (NY), The Commonwealth Club of California (San Francisco), The Foreign Policy Association (NY), Harvard, Yale, Princeton and dozens of other venues. He has appeared on NBC, PBS, C-SPAN, CNN, Fox News, CNBC and National Pubic Radio (NPR). His writing has appeared in Newsweek International, Los Angeles Times and International Herald Tribune.

He graduated magna cum laude with a BA in Politics and a certificate in Political Economy from Princeton University. He graduated with an M.Phil in International Relations from Oxford University. He also worked in the Principal Investment Area at Goldman Sachs & Co. in New York City for several years.

Behrman has held a world record in fly-fishing and has completed the New York City Marathon. An avid mountaineer, he has summitted Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Elbrus, in Africa and Russia, respectively. He is a member of The Explorer's Club in New York City, where he also resides.

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