Archive - March 28, 2018

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Review — The Peace Corps Experience, 1969-1976 by P. David Searles (staff)
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Blatchford’s 1970’s “New Directions” for the Peace Corps (PC/HQ)

Review — The Peace Corps Experience, 1969-1976 by P. David Searles (staff)

    The Peace Corps Experience: Challenge and Change, 1969-1976 By P. David Searles (Philippines Country Director 1971-74; Peace Corps Deputy Director 1974-76) The University Press of Kentucky March 1997 254 pages $21.96 (hard cover) Reviewed by David Elliott (Poland 1991-93; Staff-India 1966-68, Nigeria 1965-66, Sierra Leone 1964-65) • Was the Peace Corps on its deathbed in 1969? Did Director Joe Blatchford revive the patient with his “New Directions” medicine? In his preface, P. Searles is explicit as to his book’s “main message”: In late 1969, President Richard Nixon’s first Peace Corps director, Joseph H. Blatchford, announced a set of policies, which he labeled New Directions, that changed its [Peace Corps’] nature and ensured its survival…Without these changes its tenth anniversary (in 1971) would have been a wake mourning the death of the last of the Kennedy era. Peace Corps history buffs may find this book entertaining, even provocative. Searles was . . .

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Blatchford’s 1970’s “New Directions” for the Peace Corps (PC/HQ)

I first published Director Blatchford’s announcement in  May, 1997 — JCoyne • New Directions On my recent trip to Kenya, Libya and Iran I was often the recipient of warm thanks for the work done by others in the past, coming from government ministers truly grateful for a help hand. But just as often I was asked if we couldn’t somehow provide more people trained in vocational education, agriculture, and business management, for example, than are not available. Everywhere the cry was for mean and women with higher priority skills–who can also work with people–to fill priority development needs. To consider these and other problems I called together a task force of 50 distinguished men and women to examine the Peace Corps in ten specific areas. They came from within and without the Peace Corps, from among former Volunteers, staff and men and women of outstanding ability in private life…I have . . .

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