Friday, February 12, 2016 the Wall Street Journal carried a long review by Mark Moyer, visiting scholar at the Foreign Policy Initiative, of The Great Surge: The Ascent of the Developing World written by Steven Radelet (Western Samoa 1981-83), a former chief economist of AID and now holder of the Donald F. McHenry Chair in Global Human Development at Georgetown University, is well as an economic adviser to the president of Liberia, and most importantly, husband of Carrie Hessler Radelet, Director of the Peace Corps.
In his review, Moyer writes, “Combining the real-world knowledge of a practitioner with the rigor of an academic, Mr. Radelet delivers a stimulating reconsideration of development aid.”
Moyer points out that Radelet believes what has triggered the “great surge” was the crumbling of the Soviet Empire. “The discrediting of Marxist-Leninism encouraged poor countries to discard autocracy and state control of the economy in favor of liberal democracy and capitalism. The end of superpower competition also eliminated the need for the great powers to prop up repressive dictators.”
Radelet also believes, as Moyer adds, that foreign aid has neither been a primary driver of development, nor a complete water of money.
To the best of my recollection, the Peace Corps as an agency is not cited by Steven, for good or for bad.
See also Mark Wentling’s (Honduras 1967-69) comments on The Great Surge published at this site.