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Bye, Bye Peace Corps??
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RPCV Writers & Foreign Service Authors in the News & Print
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Review — WILD WORLD by Peter Rush (Cameroon)
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“What Are You?” They Ask My Son by Michael Meyer (China)
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Sarge Recalls His First PC/H Staff
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The Peace Corps: A lot of bucks for very little bang? (Brookings)
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US Ambassador Scott Brown Down & Dirty with PCVs (Samoa)
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Staff in PC/W–Early ‘60s
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The Peace Corps in Washington–The Early ’60s
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Tyler McMahon (El Salvador) wins 2016 Gival Press Novel Award

Bye, Bye Peace Corps??

A review of Thomas M. Hill’s article,  Peace Corps: A lot of bucks for very little bang? Is Mr. Hill’s article the opening salvo in an attempt to discredit, diminish and perhaps even ultimately destroy Peace Corps? Or is the article just a simple reflection of former Foreign Service Officer Hill’s disdainful dissatisfaction with the Peace Corps? I don’t know. What I do know is that discussion and analysis about improving Peace Corps or any organization is always necessary and should be encouraged. What I also know is such analysis must be rooted in evidence. Opinion should be labeled and not paraded as fact. Assumptions need to be questioned. As we go about such a task, we should be mindful there are about 7000 serving Volunteers doing difficult work in an increasingly unstable world and their service must be respected, I intend to cite the public record to challenge some of the statements Mr. . . .

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RPCV Writers & Foreign Service Authors in the News & Print

The Foreign Service Journal covers foreign affairs from an insider’s perspective, providing thought-provoking articles on international issues, the practice of diplomacy and the U.S. Foreign Service. Including the AFSA News section, The Journal is published monthly (January-February and July-August issues combined) by the American Foreign Service Association. The November issue focuses on Foreign Service authors. Mark Wentling (Honduras 1967–69, Togo 1970–73; PC Staff: Togo, Gabon, Niger 1973–77) new book, Dead Cow Road: Life on the Front Lines of an International Crisis is featured on on this page.http://www.afsa.org/sites/default/files/flipping_book/1117/index.html#38   A former U.S. foreign service officer, Mark Jacobs (Paraguay 1978-80) has published more than 125 stories in magazines including The Atlantic, Playboy, The Idaho Review, The S0uthrn Review, and The Kenyon Review. His latest publication is in the Hudson Review. http://hudsonreview.com/2017/10/other-mens-fields/#.Wfn13baZPsk    

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Review — WILD WORLD by Peter Rush (Cameroon)

  Wild World (novel) by Peter S. Rush (Cameroon 1972–73) Prior Manor August 2017 288 pages $16.95 (paperback) Reviewed by D.W. Jefferson (El Salvador 1974–76, and Costa Rica 1976–77) • You can’t change an institution unless you are willing to become a part of it and work from the inside. That’s what Steve Logan decided to do. In the spring of 1970 he is a senior at Brown University, very much in love with his girlfriend Roxy, a pre-med student, and planning to go to law school in the fall. Then he hears about Kent State, four student demonstrators killed by the National Guard. Inspired by a campus appearance by a New York City police officer who is fighting corruption on the force, and unwilling to leave Roxy on her own as she has recently lost both her father and sister, Steve decides to join the local Providence police force and . . .

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“What Are You?” They Ask My Son by Michael Meyer (China)

  This Opinion piece appeared in The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, October 31, 2017, written by Michael Meyer (China 1995-97). Michael teaches creative nonfiction at the University of Pittsburgh. His most recent book, just published by Bloomsbury, is The Road to Sleeping Dragon: Learning China from the Ground Up. — JC • “What Are You?” They Ask My Son At 5, he doesn’t quite understand what it means to be ‘biracial.’ ‘I’m a boy,’ he says.   My son is 5. He was born in Hong Kong and spent the past two years in Singapore. We returned to the U.S. so he could grow up here, and the culture shock has been minimal: Like his fellow kindergartners, Benji loves Legos and belting out “Let it Go.” Unlike them, he plays piano, which he learned in a Singapore preschool. Also unlike them, Benji is constantly asked: “What are you?” It’s a . . .

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Sarge Recalls His First PC/H Staff

I do not think it is altogether fair to say that I handed Sarge a lemon from which he made lemonade, but I do think that he was handed and you (The Peace Corps staff) were handed one of the most sensitive and difficult assignments which any administrative group in Washington has been given almost in this century.” –President Kennedy in a speech to the Peace Corps staff It was apparent to Shriver from the very beginning that he needed talented people who had wide experience in government work. The question was–how would he find them! He followed the principle that one good man would bring another. So Warren Wiggins got him Jack Young from NASA, a demon of energy and creativity who organized our management services. Presidential Counsel Ted Sorensen recommended Joe Kauffman. The Dean of the Yale Law School, Eugene Rostow, recommended Bill Delano. The “talent search” turned up . . .

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The Peace Corps: A lot of bucks for very little bang? (Brookings)

The Peace Corps: A lot of bucks for very little bang? By Thomas M Hill, Visiting Fellow—Governance Studies Brookings Monday, October 16, 2017 Former Congressman Sam Farr (D-Calif.) is credited with having stated that the Peace Corps is “the American taxpayer’s best bang for its buck.” Certainly, it’s a sentiment shared by many returned Peace Corps volunteers who describe their experiences as personally transformative. However, at approximately $56,500 per volunteer per year, the Peace Corps is one of the most expensive civilian overseas programs funded by the federal government and nearly twice as expensive as the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. The program’s cost ($410 million annually) coupled with its inconsistent development track record and the agency’s insistence that it operate independently from U.S. foreign policy should raise questions for Congress about whether an entirely taxpayer-funded model is sustainable and a good use of limited resources. In 1971, Brent Ashabranner, the former Deputy Director of the Peace Corps suggested that . . .

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US Ambassador Scott Brown Down & Dirty with PCVs (Samoa)

Thanks to the ‘heads up’ from Andy Trincia (Romania 2002-04) From The Guardian, New Zealand US officials investigated Brown after he was accused of inappropriate behaviour at a party in Samoa and was alleged by one woman to have stared at her breasts Scott Brown: US envoy to New Zealand ‘counselled on standards of conduct’ The state department said: ‘We take allegations of misconduct seriously and we investigate them thoroughly.’ Photograph: @peacecorpssamoa Facebook/The Samoan Photographer Reported by Eleanor Ainge Roy in Dunedin and Julian Borger in Washington Thursday 26 October 2017 US Ambassador to New Zealand, Scott Brown The US ambassador to New Zealand has been “counselled on standards of conduct for government employees” after an investigation into his behaviour at a party in Samoa in the summer. US officials from the state department’s office of inspector general flew to New Zealand last week to interview Scott Brown, a former Republican senator, and reported their findings . . .

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Staff in PC/W–Early ‘60s

The main source of my personnel research in the early Peace Corps/Washington comes from Who’s Who in The Peace Corps Washington. Thanks to a ‘heads up’ from Peace Corps’ first photographer, Rowland Scherman, I now know this informative pamphlet was written by Peace Corps PR/Reporter, a former San Francisco newspaper reporter, Thompson “Jim” Walls. I met Jim and Rowland in 1962-3 when they were traveling around the world gathering Volunteer stories and photographing PCVs. They spent several weeks in Ethiopia on this historic trip and brought back to the US photographs of what the Peace Corps was doing overseas in these early years. Jim wrote the copy for this information pamphlet Who’s Who in The Peace Corps and Roland took all the photos. The agency and all of us who were PCVs and Staff are indebted to them.  Shriver Remembers First Staff Reading the biographies of all these men and women . . .

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The Peace Corps in Washington–The Early ’60s

There are unfortunately few books about the early days of the agency, how it was formed and who was involved in those weeks at the Mayflower Hotel and in the original Peace Corps Office, the Maiatico Building, located at the edge of Lafayette Park and within sight of the White House. Who were the people who built the agency? Harris Wofford’s book, Of Kennedys & Kings Making Sense of the Sixties (1980) devotes a chapter to the Peace Corps. The Bold Experience: JFK’s Peace Corps by Gerard T. Rice (1985) tells of the political maneuvering to create the agency, as does to a certain degree, All You Need Is Love: The Peace Corps and the Spirit of the 1960s by Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman (1998). However, Come As You Are: The Peace Corps Story by Coates Redmon (1986) a press writer at the Peace Corps in its first days, gives the background . . .

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Tyler McMahon (El Salvador) wins 2016 Gival Press Novel Award

  Gival Press has announced that Tyler McMahon of Honolulu, Hawai’i has won the 2016 Gival Press Novel Award for his novel Dream of Another America. McMahon will receive a cash prize of $3,000. The novel will be  published in the spring of 2018. — JC Advance Praise “So gritty about every least detail, so frank about its people’s needs, Dream of Another America might at first seem the furthest thing from a dream. Yet Tyler McMahon has worked this desperate material into a headlong tumble of jeopardy and escape, sweeping up a remarkable array of souls—mostly Central American—in a spell so vivid it seems straight out of the deepest recesses of the unconscious. As his protagonist Jacinto makes his way north to Los United, McMahon puts the reader too up against the worst monsters of that odyssey, now baking in the desert, now clinging to a train. The novel’s likewise unsparing about . . .

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