Archive - February 2012

1
Review of A Small Key Opens Big Doors
2
Publishing’s Ecosystem on the Brink: The Backstory
3
Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala 1990-93) Gets Home Town Press on his Award
4
Military trial in Peace Corps rape case begins
5
More Comments About More on Sarge
6
If The Ambassador says, “GO,” and The Peace Corps Director says, “NO” Leaving El Salvador 1979-80 Part Three
7
Mass Market Paperback Sales Down Nearly 41%
8
January 2012 Books by Peace Corps Writers
9
More from Mark Shriver's book about his Dad
10
October 15, 1979 COUP! Now What? Leaving El Salvador 1979 -1980 Part Two

Review of A Small Key Opens Big Doors

A Small Key Opens Big Doors: 50 Years of Amazing Peace Corps Stories, Volume 3 — The Heart of Eurasia edited by Jay Chen (Kazakhstan 2005–08) Travelers’ Tales 336 pages $18.95 (paperback) 2011 Reviewed by Lawrence F. Lihosit (Honduras, 1975–77) THE PEACE CORPS AT 50 PROJECT, that includes four volumes,* offers an unparalleled, operatic ensemble of voices, singing about the world. About two hundred men and women sing to us, describing 88 of the 139 nations served by the Peace Corps during the past 50 years. The voices are divided into four geographic movements. This book includes voices from those Americans who served in Eurasia — the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, its political satellites and periphery. For those who only vaguely remember the destruction of the Berlin Wall (1989) or television film of the Russian army’s retreat as the empire dissolved (1991), this federation ruled the largest geographic . . .

Read More

Publishing’s Ecosystem on the Brink: The Backstory

Bloomberg Businessweek’s January 25th cover shows a book engulfed in flames. The book’s title? “Amazon Wants to Burn the Book Business.” A towering pile of books dominates the front page of Sunday’s NYT Business Section. The pile starts well below the fold (print edition), breaks through the section header at the top of the page, and leans precariously. Books are starting to tumble off. “The Bookstore’s Last Stand,” reads the headline. These stories capture pretty well the state of book publishing: this appears to be no ordinary, cyclical crisis that future authors and publishers will shrug off. To understand how the book industry got into this predicament, however, a broader perspective may be needed. The cover story of February’s Harper’s Magazine provides that, discussing a fundamental shift in the federal approach to antitrust law that’s affected bookselling and countless other industries. It’s a story that hasn’t previously been told in a . . .

Read More

Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala 1990-93) Gets Home Town Press on his Award

From The Daily Athenaeum, student newspaper of West Virginia University in Morgantown. Wednesday, February 22, 2012 • English professor receives literary award by Carlee Lammers For Mark Brazaitis, director of West Virginia University’s Creative Writing Program, inspiration and creativity have always sprung from personal experience and a fascination with particular images. “As a writer, I’m always curious about where certain images or ideas will take me,” Brazaitis said. The WVU professor is a recent winner of the University of Notre Dame’s Richard Sullivan Prize “The Incurables,” a collection of ten short stories about the impact of mental illness on the men and women in a small Ohio town. Brazaitis said the book also includes stories of other incurable conditions, familial relationships that never seem to satisfy anyone involved and romantic relationships that offer as much heartache as pleasure. “For the first story in the collection, ‘The Bridge,’ I had this vision . . .

Read More

Military trial in Peace Corps rape case begins

Military trial in Peace Corps rape case begins Trial for Navy SEAL support team sailor accused of raping Peace Corps worker in Uganda begins By The Associated Press NORFOLK, Va. (AP) ‘ A former Peace Corps worker who taught at a girl’s school in rural Uganda has told a military jury that a sailor who does construction work for Navy SEALs raped her in his hotel room in the country’s capital. The 27-year-old woman testified Monday that her sexual encounter with Petty Officer 2nd Class Camaren Walker started out as consensual. But when his condom slipped off twice, she wanted him to stop. She says he raped her four times. During the military’s equivalent of a preliminary hearing in April, Walker’s attorneys suggested charges were brought because of political pressure. In opening arguments, one of Walker’s attorneys said the woman simply regretted her decision to have sex with Walker. The . . .

Read More

More Comments About More on Sarge

miguelito writes: with all due respect to all thr work done by rpcv/washington, i think nan gear of pc/washington, lorette ruppe, and dozens of other donors large and small would dispute the cllaim tht the 25th anniversary had no support other than the local returnees. simply not true!!! if you’d like a copy of the final accounting of funds and expenditures, please refer to the 25th memorial reoprt… venceremos… There is a comment by someone named ‘miguelito’ on my blog yesterday, replying to my item: “More from Mark Shriver’s book about his Dad” He/She was objecting to my remark, “This was the famous reunion organized by the Returned Volunteer of Washington, not by any national group of RPCVs, nor by the Peace Corps agency. The Peace Corps, as we know, never organizes anything for RPCVs.” ‘miguelito’ might not know the full history, and with the passing of time we have all forgotten key . . .

Read More

If The Ambassador says, “GO,” and The Peace Corps Director says, “NO” Leaving El Salvador 1979-80 Part Three

Director Richard Celeste was to find the independence of the Peace Corps threatened by the political situation in El Salvador. Ambassador Devine reportedly advised that it was time for the Peace Corps to leave. Celeste disagreed in a defiant memo to the State Department.  Celeste then outlined when the Peace Corps should stay and under what conditions Volunteers should leave, and who should decide.  His analysis is historic: the sense of which rings right thirty-two years later. First, the memo to the State Department, December 18, 1979,  (DNSA/GWU, Collection: El Salvador – The Making of U.S. Policy, 1977 – 1984. Item Number: ES00326) TO:  Brandon Grove, Deputy Assistant Secretary, ARA FROM:  Richard Celeste, Director, PC SUBJECT;  Peace Corps Presence in El Salvador I have not seen the most recent cables from El Salvador, but it is my understanding that Ambassador Devine first recommended that the Peace Corps reduce its presence in . . .

Read More

Mass Market Paperback Sales Down Nearly 41%

[RPCV Jason Boog (Guatemala 2000-02) is the editor of the important industry page, GalleyCat, which is part of mediabistro.com site. If you write, and or you are interested in publishing, you need to check out this site. Jason writes today a timely piece on the state of book pubishing.] “According to the Association of American Publishers (AAP) net sales revenue report for December, adult mass market paperback sales dropped 40.9 percent compared to the same period the year before. Overall trade sales declined almost three percent, dipping from $561.3 million to $545.1 million. “Overall trade book sales saw a four percent drop and mass market paperback sales declined nearly 36 percent for the year. While eBook sales increased 117 percent last year, they still have not closed the gap with declining print sales. “Here’s more from the release: “The December report represents data provided by 77 publishers and only sales of the . . .

Read More

January 2012 Books by Peace Corps Writers

A Small Key Opens Big Doors — 50 Years of Amazing Peace Corps Stories, Volume Three: The Heart of Eurasia edited by Jay Chen (Kazakhstan 2005–08) Series editor Jane Albritton (India 1967–69) Travelers’ Tales/Solas House $18.95 (paperback) 336 pages October 2011 • Letters From Moritz Thomsen: Peace Corps Legend by Christopher West Davis (Kenya 1975–77) Createspace $11.95 (paperback) 137 pages October 2011 • About Face: A Novel by Carole Howard (Staff Spouse: Ivory Coast, Togo, Senegal 1972–75) Warkwick Associates $13.95 (paperback); $2.99 (Kindle) 315 pages September 2011 • The Talk-Funny Girl by Roland Merullo (Micronesia 1979–80) Crown $23.00 (hardcover); $14.00 (paperback); $11.99 (Kindle) 320 pages July 2011 • Citrus White Gold: An Alternate History of Citrus County, Florida by John Charles Miller (Dominican Republic 1962–64) CreateSpace $14.95 (paperback) 223 pages August 2011 • You Can’t Pick Up Raindrops: A Collection of Short Stories by John Charles Miller (Dominican Republic 1962–64) . . .

Read More

More from Mark Shriver's book about his Dad

Mark Shriver writes in A Good Man — out this June from Henry Holt — that he applied to the Peace Corps in his senior year at Holy Cross College.  “After waiting months to hear — no one [in our family] from my generation had yet been accepted into the program — I learned that I would serve as an English teacher in Paraguay.” He then went with his Dad to the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Peace Corps held under a enormous tent on the Mall in Washington, D.C.. This was the famous reunion organized by the Returned Volunteer of Washington, not by any national group of RPCVs, nor by the Peace Corps agency. The Peace Corps, as we know, never organizes anything for RPCVs. “Dad . . . gave a terrific speech with a rousing finale,” Mark writes.”I was sitting in the front row, proud of him and motivated to serve.” Mark goes on to . . .

Read More

October 15, 1979 COUP! Now What? Leaving El Salvador 1979 -1980 Part Two

As the crisis deepens, an internal memo in Peace Corps/Washington made suggestions for Peace Corps response and a memo from Peace Corps/El Salvador outlined possible scenarios, as Peace Corps struggled to plan in the volatile situation. The reaction seems slow to me, but I may be mischaracterizing what is really a measured deliberate response.  Technology may have dictated response time. 1979 was a time before c-phones, GPS, the Internet or the Intranet, and personal computers. Agency communication was via State Department pouch and a rare conference telephone call. Peace Corps/El Salvador was also revising its warden system, the “official” point of contact and communication for PCVs. Otherwise, Volunteers were dependent on the communication infrastructure of the host country and personal contact, such as they both may have been. In an ACTION Memorandum, dated October 16, 1979, (DNSA-GWU Collection: El Salvador: The Making of U.S. Policy 1977 – 1984:  Item Number . . .

Read More

Copyright © 2016. Peace Corps Worldwide.