The Original: The First PCVs
Credit must be given to those Volunteers who joined the Peace Corps in the early Sixties. They were all kids who had come of age in the final years of the Fifties, schooled in novels like Sloan Wilson, The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, published in 1955, and the non-fiction The Organization Man, written by William H. Whyte and published in 1956. These books were underscored by Ayn Rand’s philosophy as articulated in her novel Atlas Shrugged, published in 1957. Every man, philosophized Rand, was an end in himself. He must work for rational self-interest, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself. None of us knew in the winter of 1961 if joining the Peace Corps would mark us for life, like being a member of the Communist Party, or worse, a member of the Republican Party (just kidding!). The real heroes were the “Originals,” those PCVS . . .Read More
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