Author - Marian Haley Beil

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ACROSS THE FACE OF THE STORM by Jerome R. Adams (Colombia)
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Marc-Vincent Jackson (Senegal) publishes A THOUSAND POINTS OF LIGHT
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The Volunteer Who as a Superior Court Judge Threw Out California’s Lethal Injection Procedure
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The Volunteer Who Built a Railroad to the Sky — Jay Hersch (Colombia)
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Review — JFK & RFK MADE ME DO IT 1960–1968 by Sweet William (Peru)
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Another review — AFGHANISTAN AT A TIME OF PEACE by Robin Varnum
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The Volunteer Who Was Nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize — Chic Dambach
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22 New books by Peace Corps writers — July–August, 2021
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Sweet William (Peru) publishes JFK & RFK MADE ME DO IT: 1960–1968
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“Hitching a Ride to Tikal” by Alan Jackson (Belize)

ACROSS THE FACE OF THE STORM by Jerome R. Adams (Colombia)

  In early 1911, Isabel Cooper, 17, and her 15-year-old brother, Frederick. they leave their Georgetown home after the sudden death of their Mexican mother. They are determined to find their father, a college professor who – like many American leftists – had joined the Mexican revolution a few months earlier. They travel by train, stagecoach, and wagon, at first put off by what they see of turn-of-the-century American South. But they soon learn of the quiet dignity of their mother’s homeland. After an ugly incident not of their making, they escape the federales with the help of Pepe, a lad of many talents. He leads them to refuge with a ragtag militia on its way to join Carranza’s Army of the North, commanded by a woman known as La Maestra. • After service in the Peace Corps in Colombia, Jerome Adams went to work for The Charlotte (NC) Observer, . . .

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Marc-Vincent Jackson (Senegal) publishes A THOUSAND POINTS OF LIGHT

  Beautiful and determined, an outcast Senegalese woman clings relentlessly to dreams of her beloved savior, a lost folklore hero, returning to her from across the ocean … Broken, but wise, a devoted griot painfully witnesses and faithfully tells her dogged plight, loving her from afar and mostly in vain … Committed American volunteers zealously navigate a developing, culturally rich African country, becoming intimately immersed, and sometimes, unwittingly entangled … Alienated and frustrated, one unsuspecting volunteer bitterly chronicles his uneasy experiences with unsparing criticism … A desperate journey, an unspoken heart, patriotic dedication, and a candid diary lyrically meld into a seamless mystical reality with surprising results. Inspired by his U.S. Peace Corps service during George H.W. Bush’s presidency, Marc-Vincent Jackson has written A Thousand Points of Light ‘s, and insightful debut novel that is an artfully written with an  engaging tale of interwoven lives and voices in 1980’s Senegal. It magically . . .

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The Volunteer Who as a Superior Court Judge Threw Out California’s Lethal Injection Procedure

  Faye Hooker D’Opal earned a bachelor’s degree from Hendrix College in Arkansas and a Doctorate in Jurisprudence from New College of California, San Francisco. Faye commented that a motivating factor in deciding to earn a law degree was based on her earlier experience of racial discrimination while growing up in rural Arkansas. This is where her legacy of community service began where she participated in the historic efforts to desegregate Little Rock’s public schools. Peace Corps In 1963–65, she became a Peace Corps Volunteer in Colombia, one among the first women to serve in that capacity. In her first year, she worked in health/community development programs, based in a local health center serving an area of 9,000 people. Its primary goal was to develop an extensive program in preventive medicine. Faye also participated in various development activities in four other nearby communities. She and her colleagues were successful in . . .

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The Volunteer Who Built a Railroad to the Sky — Jay Hersch (Colombia)

  A Profile in Citizenship by Jeremiah Norris (Colombia 1963–65)   Back story: Imagine the improbable After serving in Colombia, 1964-66, RPCV Jay Hersch buys a farm in the Western Highlands of Virginia, starts a successful business, then fulfills a long-held dream: he lays down a road bed for 155 feet of track, builds a replica of an existing Train Station, finds a surplus caboose and coal car — and from dream to reality, creates a railroad on his property! Jay’s published book, Phantomrail: The Railroad that Never Was, available on Amazon, tells the complete story.   Since his boyhood days in Chicago, Jay remembers waiting with his grandfather at the end of the Kenzie Avenue line, fascinated as he watched rail workers push the streetcar around the turnstile until it was headed back toward downtown. He also recalled counting the cars as the freight trains rumbled past and last . . .

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Review — JFK & RFK MADE ME DO IT 1960–1968 by Sweet William (Peru)

   JFK & RFK Made Me Do It:  1960–1968 by Sweet William (Peru 1964–66) Peace Corps Writers & Constitutional Capers August 2021 274 pages $25.00 (paperback); $9.99 (Kindle) Reviewed by Marnie Mueller (Ecuador 1963-65) • I didn’t know what I was getting into when Marian Haley Beil asked me to review this book. My first thought was this would be a simple retelling of the Peace Corps experience and its aftermath. But JFK and RFK Made Me Do It: 1960 to 1968 is much more than that. In this recounting,  it becomes a young man’s sentimental education, akin to Gustave Flaubert’s novel of that title, though instead of  living through the revolution of 1848 and the founding of the Second French Empire, Sweet William takes us through the revolution wrought by JFK’s presidency and RFK’s attempt to carry on the calling of his fallen brother. JFK & RFK MADE ME DO . . .

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Another review — AFGHANISTAN AT A TIME OF PEACE by Robin Varnum

  Afghanistan at a Time of Peace by Robin Varnum (Afghanistan 1971–73) Peace Corps Writers June, 2021 201 pages $25.00 (paperback), $10.00 (Kindle) Reviewed by John Chromy (India 1963–65) • Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Robin Varnum (Afghanistan 1970-72) has brought to us a wonderful reminder of how Peace Corps operated in faraway lands 50 years ago.The Volunteers remembered President Kenndy’s “ringing call to service” and they were ready to go to the ends of the earth to serve, to learn and to teach. Ms. Varnum’s narrative begins with the three day PRIST (pre-Invitational Staging) program in Chicago in which the potential volunteers were briefed, provided with vast amounts of information on Peace Corps and Afghanistan, and given the choice to go to Afghanistan or not. If they said yes, two months later they were on their way to Kabul and three months of in-country training. The description of sights, emotions, excitement and . . .

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The Volunteer Who Was Nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize — Chic Dambach

  A Profile in Citizenship by Jeremiah Norris (Colombia 1963–65)   How does one write about the career of Charles “Chic” Dambach –and still do justice to it in 1.5 pages! Let me try, though my effort may prove to be a poor candle in bringing it to light. Chic, to his global friends and associates, began his journey after graduating from Oklahoma State University in 1967, which he attended on a football scholarship as an outstanding college prospect. According to a review of his memoir Exhaust the Limits, the Life and Times of a Global Peacebuilder by another Volunteer, Bob Arias, Chic came upon racism on the playing fields of his school — and met it head on. It just wasn’t another game for Chic, fighting racist attitudes was his first challenge and he reached out to make a difference, an attitude that infused his professional life thereafter. Chic . . .

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22 New books by Peace Corps writers — July–August, 2021

To purchase any of these books from Amazon.com — CLICK on the book cover, the bold book title, or the publishing format you would like — and Peace Corps Worldwide, an Amazon Associate, will receive a small remittance from your purchase that will help support the site and the annual Peace Corps Writers awards. We now include a one-sentence description  for the books listed here in hopes of encouraging readers  1) to order a book and 2) to VOLUNTEER TO REVIEW IT.  See a book you’d like to review for Peace Corps Worldwide? Send a note to Marian at marian@haleybeil.com, and we’ll send you a copy along with a few instructions.   In addition to the books listed below, Marian has on her shelf a number of other books whose authors would love for you to review. Go to Books Available for Review to see what is on that shelf. Join in our Third Goal effort!!! • My . . .

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Sweet William (Peru) publishes JFK & RFK MADE ME DO IT: 1960–1968

  In this fast-paced, fact-packed memoir of The Sixties, a veteran social activist recalls the idealism of the Kennedy Brothers’ push for peace and how it shaped him and others to become peacemakers. With eloquent words the brothers laid out their peace agenda — from JFK’s call in 1960 to join the New Frontier to RFK’s “End the War” Presidential Campaign of 1968.   In June of 1963, JFK’s “Strategy of Peace” speech given in response to the nuclear-war standoff with Russia, motivated a recently graduated UCLA couple to volunteer for the Peace Corps. They were assigned to serve in Peru. This richly informed memoir documents how these two Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs), and others, made a difference in U.S. international relations in ways that money could never buy.  The emotional heart of this book is the emergence of RFK. Following his 1964 election to the U.S. Senate, he visited Peru . . .

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“Hitching a Ride to Tikal” by Alan Jackson (Belize)

Alan and Keith were Peace Corps Volunteers in Belize, Central America, from 1976 to 1978. Alan was stationed in Belize City where he was assigned to the Fisheries Unit Laboratory, and boarded with a young Belizean family. Keith was posted to the Mopan Mayan village of San Antonio in Toledo District and advised a beekeeper and honey cooperative. Keith lived in a thatch hut without electricity or running water. • Hitching a Ride to Tikal By Alan Jackson   Both Keith and I had to work the annual Agricultural and Trade Show on Saturday and Sunday, April 22 and 23, 1978, in Belmopan, Belize. The Ag Show is like a small county fair with dozens of thatched booths displaying the various goods and products of government and private industry. The British military usually had some of their weapons on display, too. The two-day fair also included food stalls, horse racing, . . .

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