Archive for August 2013

A special investigation into the modern history and culture of Iran and its geopolitical standing in the Middle East

Fariba Amini is a freelance writer and journalist who writes regularly on Iranian history and human and women’s rights. Her father was the mayor of Tehran, a member of the ruling National Front party, and the personal attorney and close friend to the democratically elected prime minister Mohammad Mosaddeq, who was deposed by a US-British led coup in 1953. She has written and edited several books including “Faces of the Most Successful Iranian Americans” that was published by the U.S. State Department, “Letters from Ahmad Abad: Mossadeq’s Letters to Noss-rah-toll-lah Ah-meen-ee,”  and “Little Black Fish” -- a translation of children’s stories by one of Iran’s most famous story tellers, Samad Bay-rang-ee.  Fariba has degrees from George Mason University and a masters in history from Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences in Paris.

Prof. Tom Ricks is a retired and distinguished professor who is now an independent scholar in Modern Palestinian and Iranian society and cultural history.  In the past he has served on the faculties of the University of Pennsylvania, Villanova, Georgetown and Birzelt University in the West Bank, Palestine.  He has published and edited numerous, books, translations and peer reviewed articles during his teaching career starting in 1974.   In the 1960s he served in the Peace Corps in Iran and is an expert on the life and work of Howard Baskerville, an American teacher who died alongside the democratic Constitutionalists during the Iranian Constitutional Revolution in the beginning of the twentieth century. Dr. Ricks received his doctorate in Middle East History from Indian University and continues to travel to Palestine yearly to teach at Birzelt University.

Dmitry Orlov is a Russian-American engineer and author writing on the potential economic, environmental and political decline and collapse of the US and modern industrial culture.  He was an eye witness to the collapse of the Soviet Union and has researched extensively its causes and the reasons for the failure of both the Soviets and the Americans to predict and understand it accurately. Dmirty is very popular among the Peak Oil community such as Richard Heinberg and frequently writes on the looming energy crisis.

He has written five books, notably Reinventing Collapse: The Soviety Experience and American Prospects, and now his most recent “The Five Stages of Collapse: Survivors Toolkit.”  He publishes weekly on his popular blog and for the Energy Bulletin. Dmitry and his family currently live on a sailboat fitted with solar panels and the necessities to carry them through for many months.

Special Series on Fascism:  Defining fascism, the interpenetration of government and private industry, and the failures of democratic radicalism in preventing the US from descending into fascism

Prof. Norman Pollack is a professor emeritus of history at Michigan State University in East Lansing Michigan. He has a long history of engaging civil rights and anti-war activities over the decades, beginning when he was 15 and campaigning for Henry Wallace and his Progressive Party in 1948.  Later he campaigned for Adlai Stevenson in the 50s and supported Martin Luther King. A two time Guggenheim fellow, Prof. Pollack was a major intellectual voice during the late 60s in giving an knowledgeable boost to the New Left and writing on American populism, which became an popular documentary "The Populist Mind".  After receiving his doctorate in American Civilization from Harvard, he taught at Yale and Wayne State before going to Michigan. In his later years he has focused on the history of civil disobedience, socio-political alienation, and the sociology of fascism. Prof. Pollack currently writes for Counterpunch, looking at the identifying characteristics of America's descent into a new form of neoliberal fascist state.

Progressive Commentary Hour
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