Archive - July 14, 2010

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# 20–A–The Mad Man NEW
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The Mad Man Among The Mad Men (And The Mad Women)

# 20–A–The Mad Man NEW

In 1962 the Peace Corps received 20,000 applications, compared with 13,000 in 1961. Nevertheless, Recruitment couldn’t keep up with the staggering period of growth. For example, in 1961 the Peace Corps was in 9 countries. A year later they were in another 32 countries. Then, in the early months of 1963, there was a dramatic decline in applications, and the Peace Corps suffered its first shortfalls. This happened just as more and more countries were asking for Volunteers. The head of Recruitment–called then ‘Chief of the Division of Colleges and Universities–was the former Dean of Men at Vanderbilt University, Samuel F.  Babbitt, Sam Babbitt was a low-key kind of guy. His idea for recruitment was to set up a single Peace Corps faculty contact on campuses all across the country with instructions to conduct a continuous but unaggressive information program. Babbitt wanted to win the Peace Corps a  reputation for honesty and thoroughness which, he told everyone, “would produce . . .

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The Mad Man Among The Mad Men (And The Mad Women)

I’ve saved this “character” for last in my collection of  Peace Corps Mad Men.  A television producer might think of  featuring this person as a main character for a new series. He wouldn’t be a bad ‘concept’ as they say in Hollywood for a new show.    In those early days of the agency he invented a new way of doing things in the government  that didn’t last, but did propel the Peace Corps from being a minor bureaucracy into a major player in D.C. Warren Wiggins credits Bill Moyers as the key figure in the Peace Corps during those first years, citing Moyers role in creating full bipartisan support in Congress, and how he got Young and Rubicam to develop those award winning ads some of us today are old enough to recall. All true. Warren is right about Moyers. However, recently I read a draft of an essay “Reflections on the Peace Corps” that Robert Textor, a former professor of Anthropology . . .

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