Archive - April 21, 2010

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RPCV Peter Hessler Comes Home To Colorado
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When The World Calls: The Inside Story Of The Peace Corps And Its First Fifty Years
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Mad Men At Play At The Peace Corps

RPCV Peter Hessler Comes Home To Colorado

The New Yorker for April 19, 2010, has a piece by Peter Hessler (China 1996-98) on his return home from China. Peter and his wife Leslie Chang decided to settle in a rural Colorado, both of them strangers to America. Peter writes, “Neither of us had much experience as adults in the United States. I had left after college to attend graduate school in England, [he was a Rhodes Scholar] and then I travelled to China; before I knew it I had been gone for a decade and a half … Leslie had even fewer American roots; she had been born and  brought up in New York, the daughter of Chinese immigrants, and she had made her career as a writer in Shanghai and Beijing.” They met in Beijing where Leslie was a reporter for the NYTIMES and Peter, after his Peace Corps tour, found work. It is a lovely piece and one . . .

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When The World Calls: The Inside Story Of The Peace Corps And Its First Fifty Years

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 . . .

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Mad Men At Play At The Peace Corps

It was not all ‘work’ and no ‘play’ at the Peace Corps. Here’s a famous Peace Corps story from the early years that has been told and retold a couple thousand times, and is retold in the late Coates Redmon’s book Come As Your Are: The Peace Corps Story.[Coates was a a writer for the Peace Corps in the early days, later a speech writer for Rosalynn Carter, and later still, director of the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.] It is a story [as all good Washington, D.C. do] that begins in Georgetown. It was a Sunday evening in the fall of 1961 and Dick Nelson, who was Bill Moyers’s assistant, and Blair Butterworth, whose father was ambassador to Canada, and who worked as a file clerk at PC/W, were living together at Two Pomander Walk in Georgetown. That Sunday, Moyers’ wife and kids were in Texas and he came over . . .

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