Archive - July 24, 2012

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A Writer Writes: Principles vs. Principal:Is There Room for "Pay to Play" in Volunteerism? by Brian Holler Turkmenistan 2010-12
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Legacy Publisher Buys Self-Publishing Firm
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Review of David Koren’s Far Away in the Sky

A Writer Writes: Principles vs. Principal:Is There Room for "Pay to Play" in Volunteerism? by Brian Holler Turkmenistan 2010-12

Principles vs. Principal: Is There Room for “Pay to Play” in Volunteerism  by Brian Holler (Turkmenistan 2010-12) If I had one piece of advice for incoming Volunteers, it would be to focus on the “What is Peace Corps?” section of language training. Like most of my brethren, I’ve spent my fair share of time explaining what an American is doing here. In Turkmenistan, a country that values hospitality above all else, where people will feed and shelter a stranger, the practices of volunteerism and charity are still foreign concepts. People will do anything for their neighbor, but are skeptical of the intentions of someone that has come from another country only to assist their community. In the developed world, formal acts of philanthropy require little tangible reciprocity. Different countries have different cultural norms though; transaction costs may be different. The question is: when faced with more “concrete” operational requirements, how . . .

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Legacy Publisher Buys Self-Publishing Firm

Last week Penguin Group took over Authors Solutions, one of the biggest print-on-demand publishers, with imprints iUniverse and AuthorHouse. This is the first time a traditional book company (now increasing referred to as a legacy publisher) has purchased a self-publishing company. According to an article on Friday, July 20, 2012, in The Wall Street Journal, the deal is worth $116 million and the self-publishing company will be folded into Penguin and operate as a separate unit. The article quotes Mike Shatzkin, chief executive of Idea Logical Co. a New York-based publishing consultancy, as saying this “constitutes tacit recognition that the legacy publishing model is severely challenged and may not work sometimes in the foreseeable future.” The article in WSJ goes onto point out that publishing houses once had limited access to their customers’ buying and reading habits. But e-book sales have created a trove of data that-if harvested well-can show . . .

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Review of David Koren’s Far Away in the Sky

Far Away in the Sky A Memoir of the Biafran Airlift by David L. Koren (1964-66) Createspace, $17.99 Kindle: $8.60 332 pages 2012 Reviewed by Dick Hughes (Nigeria 1962-64) In 1962, when I was in Peace Corps training at UCLA for a teaching job in Nigeria, the official U.S. message was that we were headed for Africa’s “showcase of democracy,” as my Nigeria IV friend Joanne McNeese Mills put it with appropriate irony. How much better the promise of that newly formed nation than that of Ghana, then under the sway of U.S.- educated Kwame Nkrumah, who was flirting with our cold war Soviet and Chinese rivals; and who, god help us, had this crazy idea of forming a unity of African states. Wonder where that idea came from? We all know how that turned out.  Nkrumah was overthrown in a military coup in 1966 that, some have said, was . . .

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