Archive - November 23, 2010

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Bob Herbert Remembers "A Gift From Long Ago"
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Interview with Stan Meisler, author of forthcoming book on the Peace Corps

Bob Herbert Remembers "A Gift From Long Ago"

In Bob Herbert’s Op-Ed column today (Tuesday, November 23, 2010) he writes: “It was a half-century ago this month that John F. Kennedy won the presidency in a thrilling and heart-stoppingly close election against Richard Nixon. You’d probably be surprised at the number of Americans who are clueless about when Kennedy ran: ‘It was 1970, right?’ ‘Wasn’t it in the ’40s, soon after the war?’ Or whom he ran against: ‘Eisenhower?’ Herbert goes on: “Kennedy’s great gift was his capacity to inspire. His message as he traveled the country was that Americans could do better, that great things were undeniably possible, that obstacles were challenges to be overcome with hard work and sacrifice.” And then Herbert recalls the Peace Corps: “Kennedy the cold warrior was also the president who created the Peace Corps, which Ted Sorensen, who died just last month (and whose daughter Juliet was a Peace Corps volunteer), described . . .

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Interview with Stan Meisler, author of forthcoming book on the Peace Corps

RECENTLY I INTERVIEWED STANLEY MEISLER, the author of  the forthcoming book When The World Calls: The Inside Story of the Peace Corps and its First Fifty Years. (The book will be published in February but you can go on-line now to Amazon.com and order your copy.) I asked  Meisler in this season of thanksgiving to give his view of agency, and asked him what he learned doing his research for this important book. Here is what Stan had to say. From the advantage points of time and distance how would you sum up the value (if any) of the Peace Corps? The Peace Corps has created an incredible resource of 200,000 Americans who know the developing world intimately. Take Africa, for example. In 1960, who in the US knew anything about Africa? Some missionaries. Some academics. When the Peace Corps was starting, I received a phone call from Berea College. They were going to train . . .

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