Background Briefing - Sunday, August 8, 2010

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Dr. Marvin Weinbaum was the former Afghanistan and Pakistan Analyst at the Bureau of Intelligence and Research at the US Department of State from 1991 to 2003 and is an emeritus professor at the University of Illinois where he directed the program in South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. Dr. Weinbaum was a Senior Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace and held Fulbright Research Fellowships for Afghanistan and Egypt. He has authored numerous books, including The Future of Afghanistan. He has a new article entitled "Hard Choices in Countering Insurgency and Terrorism in Pakistan's Northwest Frontier" in the current issue of Journal of International Affairs.

Check out more of Dr. Weinbaum's books here.
Raj Patel is an award-winning writer, activist and academic. He has worked for the World Bank and WTO, and protested against them around the world. Patel has testified about the causes of the global food crisis to the US House Financial Services Committee and is an Advisor to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food. In addition to numerous scholarly publications, he regularly writes for The Guardian, and has contributed to the LA Times,, The San Francisco Chronicle and many others. His first book was Stuffed and Starved:The Hidden Battle for the World Food System and his latest, The Value of Nothing, is a New York Times best-seller.

Purchase his books here - for more information go to

Barbara Ehrenreich is an American feminist, democratic socialist, and political activist, a prominent figure in the Democratic Socialists of America. In 2006, Ehrenreich founded United Pro- fessionals, an organization described as "a nonprofit, non-partisan membership organization for white-collar workers. She is a widely read columnist and essayist, and the author of nearly 20 books. Her book Bright-Sided was inspired by her personal battle with breast cancer - as a woman.

Purchase Bright Sided  here, or check out more of Ehrenreich's publications here. Check out her website for up to date information.