Archive - March 1, 2017

The Peace Corps in the Time of Trump, Part 3

The Peace Corps in the Time of Trump, Part 3

Why did the Peace Corps suffering such a decline in interest in the early ’70s, especially from younger potential PCVs? Why did the agency begin to ‘disappear’ after the assassination of JFK? Was it the focus of New Directions on ‘experienced’ and skilled volunteers? The War in Vietnam? Or did the ‘married couples with families’ change the image of the Peace Corps? (The ‘new and very brief and unsuccessful focus on married couples did give the agency our famous writer Maria Thomas (Ethiopia 1971-73) who served with her husband and young son and that experience produced some wonderful Peace Corps stories, including, Come to Africa and Save Your Marriage.) With the decline in interest in the Peace Corps, one might ask: why was it so initially successful? Here’s one reason why. The central image of the Peace Corps in the Sixties was captured and promoted ‘free’ on radio and television thanks . . .

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