Archive - December 1, 2010

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Review of Michael L. Buckler's From Microsoft to Malawi
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Tom Bissell (Uzbekistan 1996-97) in Current Issue of The New Yorker

Review of Michael L. Buckler's From Microsoft to Malawi

From Microsoft to Malawi: Learning on the Front Lines as a Peace Corps Volunteer (memoir) by Michael L. Buckler (Malawi, 2006–08) Hamilton Books $19.95 228 pages November 2010 www.FromMicrosofttoMalawi.com Reviewed by Lawrence F. Lihosit (Honduras, 1975-77) FOR ANYONE INTERESTED IN CURRENT AFRICAN AFFAIRS, this is the book for you. Another valuable addition to Peace Corps Experience literature, it was written and published only two years after the author hugged his African family and returned. Not a timid soul, Michael L. Buckler describes his home in Malawi, and explores several controversial topics such as the overlap of services offered by the Peace Corps and non-governmental agencies, the U.S. foreign aid package, American subsidies and their effect upon other nations, Volunteer use of anti-depressants and Volunteer sexual debauchery. He does something else that reminded me of the infamous postcard incident so long ago. He published a book with an unflattering portrait of . . .

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Tom Bissell (Uzbekistan 1996-97) in Current Issue of The New Yorker

Last week it was George Packer (Togo 1982-84) in the pages of The New Yorker. This week (December 6, 2010), Tom Bissell (Uzbekistan 1996-97), who wrote about his brief Peace Corps tour in Chasing the Sea: Lost Among the Ghosts of Empire in Central Asia, has a long, long piece (what else would be in The New Yorker?) entitled “A Simple Medium” that focuses on Chuck Lorre who produces sitcoms like “Two and a Half Men.” Bissell is the author of five books, including  Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter, which orginated with a New Yorker piece published in 2008. My guess is that with this current piece in the magazine Tom has one-third of his next book already written. [Extra Lives was reviewed by Bruce Schlein (Papua New Guinea 1990–92; Bosnia 1996; PC/Staff/DC 2003–05) earlier this year. Check is out at: http://peacecorpsworldwide.org/review-extra-lives/ ]

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