Journalist, foreign correspondent, and former Peace Corps Evaluator, Stanley Meisler, has written the first complete history of the Peace Corps, tracing its evolution through the past nine presidential terms. The book, When the World Calls: The Inside Story of the Peace Corps and Its First Fifty Years will be published early in 2011.

Relying on a variety of historical sources, including new material in national archives, presidential libraries and anecdotal personal narratives, Meisler, who was at the Peace Corps from 1964-67, has written a dispassionate summary of how the agency changed, tilted with the times, and survived attacks from both the right and the left, but especially the right. Meisler’s last book was on  Kofi Annan and entitled, A Man of Peace in A World of War. It was published by John Wiley & Sons in 2007. His Peace Corps book is coming out from Beacon Press.

 This is a major development in the story of the Peace Corps. It is a history that will be written by a talented writer who knows the agency from the inside and from the early days, and a journalist who has observed PCVs at work around the world.

Meisler was with the Los Angeles Times as a foreign and diplomatic correspondent for thirty yers, living and working in Nairobi, Mexico City, Madrid, Toronto, Paris, Barcelona, the United Nations and Washington.

The publisher of this ground breaking history of the Peace Corps is Beacon Press,  a Boston publishing company that has over the years published many classics, including James Baldwin’s Notes of a Native Son, Herbert Marcuse’s One-Dimensinal Man, and Jean Baker Miller’s Toward a New Psychology of Women.

The Peace Corps, in case you have been napping, will be fifty years old in 2011.