Archive - August 2010

1
Review — A PEACE CORPS MEMOIR by Terry Sack (Bolivia 1963–65)
2
Peace Corps Writers Award for Photography book published in 2009 Won by Martha Cooper (Thailand 1963-65)
3
Charlie Peters Writes Book on LBJ
4
2010 Peace Corps Writers Award for Best Travel Book won by Toby Lester
5
What Really Works In The Peace Corps
6
Tony D'Souza Talks To Jason Boog
7
Nuggets In Comprehensive Agency Assessment
8
Black Mountain Institute Features RPCV Writer

Review — A PEACE CORPS MEMOIR by Terry Sack (Bolivia 1963–65)

Reviewer Leita Kaldi Davis worked for the United Nations and UNESCO, for Tufts’ Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and Harvard University. She worked with Roma (Gypsies) for fifteen years, became a Peace Corps Volunteer in Senegal at the age of 55, then went to work for the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Haiti for five years. She retired in Florida in 2002.  She has written a memoir of Senegal, Roller Skating in the Desert, and is working on a memoir of Haiti. • A Peace Corps Memoir: Answering JFK’s Call by Terry Sack (Bolivia 1963–65; PC/Washington 1968–69) Createspace $15.95 449 pages 2010 Reviewed by Leita Kaldi Davis (Senegal 1993-96) WHEN I FIRST SAW the title, A Peace Corps Memoir: Answering JFK’s Call, I expected a dry narrative of a typical Peace Corps experience, but the author’s unique stories and clear writing style surprised and delighted me. And how could I . . .

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Peace Corps Writers Award for Photography book published in 2009 Won by Martha Cooper (Thailand 1963-65)

PEACE CORPS WRITERS is pleased to announce that Subway Art: 25th Anniversary Edition by Martha Cooper (Thailand 1963–65) has won the 2010 Award for the Outstanding Photography Book published by a Peace Corps photographer during 2009. Cooper will receive a framed certificate and a prize of $200. The book has a long history. In the mid-seventies Martha began to specialize in shooting urban vernacular art and architecture and went to work as a staff photographer on the New York Post. At the time, the city was in the throes of bankruptcy and there were neighborhoods with empty apartment buildings, litter-filled vacant lots, a city that appeared more like a war zone than a place to live. She started to shoot street life, particularly kids playing creatively with toys they had made themselves from trash. A young boy showed her his notebook of drawings and explained that he was practicing to . . .

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Charlie Peters Writes Book on LBJ

The legendary first Chief of the Division of Evaluation of the Peace Corps, Charlie Peters, has just published Lyndon B. Johnson: The American Presidents Series: The 36th President, 1963-1969. It is part of the American President Series, edited by Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., and Sean Wilentz. If not for Vietnam, Peter writes, Johnson would be considered by many to have been one of the greatest presidents, and Charlie points out that LBJ’s domestic legislative achievement is second only to FDR’s. However, many felt that while LBJ’s domestic goals were laudable, the laws he bullied through to meet them were deeply flawed and sowed the seeds of entitlement politics. Charlie asserts that Johnson, raised in the nasty world of Texas politics, remained ruthlessly dedicated to his own advancement and became a great, if flawed, statesman. Charlie was something of a ‘statesman’ himself in West Virginia where he was in the House of Delegates before . . .

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2010 Peace Corps Writers Award for Best Travel Book won by Toby Lester

PEACE CORPS WRITERS is pleased to announce that The Fourth Part of the World: The Race to the Ends of the Earth, and the Epic Story of the Map that Gave America Its Name by Toby Lester (Yemen 1988–90) has won the 2010 Award  for the Outstanding Travel Book published by a Peace Corps writer during 2009. Lester will receive a framed certificate and a prize of $200. Picked as one of the best books of 2009 by the Washington Post, American Heritage, the Seattle News Tribune, and the Kansas City Star, The Fourth Part of the World also was selected as a Wall Street Journal History Bestseller, received a Barnes & Noble Discover Award, and was selected by Indie Booksellers for its November 2009 Indie Next List. In his review for our site David A. Taylor (Mauritania 1983–85) summed up, Lester’s book is a celebration of the rare instances where curiosity . . .

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What Really Works In The Peace Corps

I remember back in ’95 e-mailing Susan Snelson, who was finishing up her tour as a PCV in Poland and asking her how she had become involved in the Peace Corps. In the late ’80s, she told me, she had gone to visit her son who was a PCV in Niger and she decided ‘she could do this!’ and came home to Midland, Texas, where she owned a travel business, turned the business over to others, joined the Peace Corps, and went off to Poland to help them develop their tourist business. Because she had been in the travel industry, she was assigned to the Ministry of Tourist. It all made a lot of sense to the CD and the Polish government, but they, the Tourist Bureau, had no idea what to do with Susan. They gave her a desk to sit at, and for awhile she sat at it, but the Ministry had no idea who . . .

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Tony D'Souza Talks To Jason Boog

Jason Boog (Guatemala 2000-2002) is the editor of MediaBistro Publishing, which includes GalleyCat and eBookNewser. The lively, eclectic, and widely read GalleyCat specifically focuses on the publishing industry, and offers job listings, insider industry happenings, the scoop on upcoming titles, and occasionally, great literary gossip. What better person to ask to get a sense of what’s going on in NY in the midst of this protracted recession? Talking with . . . . . . Jason Boog An interview by Tony D’Souza (Ivory Coast 2000-2002, Madagascar 2002-2003) author of the novels Whiteman and The Konkans. His new novel The Mule is forthcoming from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. JASON BOOG (Guatemala 2000-02) joined the Peace Corps after graduating from the University of Michigan with a degree in literature. Following his tour, he studied magazine writing at NYU’s graduate journalism school, then stayed on in the city to begin his editing and writing . . .

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Nuggets In Comprehensive Agency Assessment

As Chris Hedrick (Senegal 1988-90), a former Rhodes Scholar at Oxford where he studied political history, and who is today the CD in Senegal, mentioned in his ‘comment’ on this site that it is the PCVs who make the difference, not the HQ staff in D.C. Chris wrote on July 29: As always, the real work of the Peace Corps is being done every day by Volunteers in the field. For example, my Volunteers have led the way in Senegal with innovative approaches to preventing malaria and distributing bed nets. They have provided an example that has now been adopted by the government of Senegal and USAID and is saving hundreds of lives here. See: http://pcsenegal.org/malaria/index.html No particular help from Washington, and none needed but outstanding work by dedicated Volunteers which my Senegalese staff and I do our best to support, as has ever been the case. There are a few other examples of what PCVs in . . .

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Black Mountain Institute Features RPCV Writer

Richard Wiley (Korea 1967-69) is the Associate Director of the Black Mountain Institute at UNLV. The Black Mountain Institute  is an international literary center “dedicated to promoting discourse on today’s most pressing issues” and Wiley is author of the novels Soldiers In Hiding (winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award for best American fiction and reissued in 2007 by Hawthorne Books), Fools’ Gold, Festival for Three Thousand Maidens, Indigo, and Ahmed’s Revenge. His most recent novel, Commodore Perry’s Minstrel Show, was published by the new Michener Series at the University of Texas Press in 2007. Wiley has been teaching creative writing at  UNLV since 1989, and brought the Peace Corps Masters International Program in creative writing to the university in the mid-nineties. Well, now he has arranged a wonderful evening of Peace Corps Writers in Las Vegas to celebrate the creation of the Peace Corps. This is another event to celebrate the . . .

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