The year is 1997. Michael Soussan, an idealistic young Brown University graduate has recently accepted his dream job at the United Nations' Oil-for-Food program, the largest humanitarian operation in the organization’s history. His mission is to help 23 million Iraqi civilians survive the devastating impact of economic sanctions that were imposed following the 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Under conflicting guidance from the fifteen bickering nations on the UN Security Council, the Oil-for-Food program would oversee the use of 64 billion petrodollars against a backdrop of simmering international tension that constantly threatens to explode into an all out war.
Backstabbing for Beginners is at once the darkly comic tale of one man's political coming of age, and a stinging indictment of the hypocrisy that prevailed at the heart of the world's most idealistic institution.
Michael Soussan has contributed editorial articles to the Wall Street Journal, The New Republic, Salon, New York Post, Commentary Magazine and the International Herald Tribune, among others. He is a regular contributor to the Providence Journal Editorial pages. He holds an MA in International Relations from Science-Po in Paris, a certificate in screenwriting and film directing from NYU, and a B.A. from Brown University, where he founded and edited The Brown Journal of World Affairs. Soussan has been invited to lecture by various organizations including the United States Central Command (USCENTCOM), the Ditchley House at Oxford, and the World Affairs Council. He has also testified before the House International Relations Committee of the US Congress. Soussan has been interviewed by PBS, the BBC, and ABC News, among others. He currently teaches international affairs and the Iraq conflict at New York University's Center for Global Affairs, and lives in New York City.