In the late 1940s and early 1950s, as anti-communist sentiment gained ground in the United States, paranoia and persecution swept through Hollywood. The House Un-American Activities (HUAC) began interrogating some of the country's most talented filmmakers and actors, accusing them of being communists or communist sympathizers.
Robert Malley, a program director for the International Crisis Group, analyzes the complexity of the situation in the Middle East, a region where conflicts interconnect and expand upon one another. "These alliances," says Malley, "are not clear cut ... they are alliances of convenience."
Incendies is a French-Canadian film that was nominated for a 2010 Academy Award. The title translates as "scorched," and the movie tells the brutal story of a woman who lived through her country's civil war. Critic David Edelstein says it's an extraordinary piece of storytelling.
Brian Whitaker is the Middle East editor for the British newspaper The Guardian, and his new book is Unspeakable Love: Gay and Lesbian Life in the Middle East. Whitaker also runs the al-Bab Web site, which aims to provide Arab cultural and political information to non-Arabs.
The most frightening thing the United States could do to Iran, short of attacking it, is to leave Iraq, says New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman. The second most frightening thing for Iran, he says, would be a U.S. success in Iraq.
A new Hamas-led government; protests against cartoons of Muhammad; a re-started nuclear program in Iran: It's a busy time for journalists specializing in the Middle East. Christopher Dickey is the regional editor for Newsweek.
New York Times foreign affairs columnist Thomas Friedman's new book, The World is Flat, explores the effects of outsourcing and globalization. The book, subtitled "a brief history of the 21st century," connects recent business trends with social issues.