Author - Marian Haley Beil

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The Volunteer Who Documented the Emergence of Philanthropy in America
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Review — MY VIEW FROM THE HOUSE BY THE SEA by Donna Marie Barr (Samoa)
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Review — TRIAL AND ERROR by Lawrence Licht (Peru)
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19 New books by Peace Corps writers — March and April, 2022
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The Volunteer Who Found Himself through a Garden of Remembrance
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Rowland Sherman (PC first photographer) exhibit at Provincetown gallery
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Review — FEEDING THE KIDS TO THE SHARKS by J.J. Martin (Papua New Guinea)
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The Volunteer who photographed the Summer of Love & then went on to slake a great thirst — Bill Owens (Jamaica)
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Review — EVERY DAY SINCE DESENZANO by Patrick Logan (Thailand)
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In 2016 Peace Corps Volunteers were invited to serve in Vietnam — by Sweet William (Peru)
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Reviews — ANGELS OF BASTOGNE by Glenn Ivers (Liberia)
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The Volunteer who went on to be a leading Congressional Representative — John Garamendi (Ethiopia)
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Review — THE BOY WITH FOUR NAMES by Doris Rubenstein (Ecuador)
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EVERY DAY SINCE DESENZANO by Patrick Logan (Thailand)
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The Volunteer Who Is one of the Most Prolific Writers of our Era — Larry Grobel (Ghana)

The Volunteer Who Documented the Emergence of Philanthropy in America

  by Jeremiah Norris (Colombia 1963-65) • Michael Meyer, who served as a Volunteer in China 1995-97, has published Benjamin Franklin’s Last Bet: The Favorite Founder’s Divisive Death, Enduring Afterlife, and Blueprint for American Prosperity. In it, he documented how Franklin, at the end of his life, made a “deathbed wager” on the survival of the United States: a gift totaling two thousand pounds to Boston and Philadelphia, to be lent out to tradesmen, over the next two centuries to jump start their careers. Each loan would be repaid with interest over ten years. If all went according to Franklin’s inventive scheme, the final payout in 1991 would be a windfall. The concept that Franklin set in place can easily be seen as the institutional basis for the subsequent emergence of foundations in America, emerging from a seed grant that in its time was considered as a ‘charitable’ donation, then . . .

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Review — MY VIEW FROM THE HOUSE BY THE SEA by Donna Marie Barr (Samoa)

  My View from the House by the Sea Donna Marie Barr (Samoa 2007-2008) Independently published February 2022 (paperback), December 2021 (Kindle) 415 pages $15.99 (paperback), $7.99 (Kindle) Reviewed by Regina DeAngelo (Ghana 2000-2002) • When the average person imagines a Peace Corps experience, they might picture a red-dirt landscape in a forsaken locale. But some RPCVs get to tell a different story, of perhaps a palm-lined, tropical idyll, set beside a clear aqua sea. This is the spot on which a 57-year-old retiree named Donna Marie Barr found herself with Peace Corps “Samoa Group 78” in of June 2007. Like many PCVs who join later than in their youth (myself included), Barr took a circuitous route to a place she’d always wanted to go. After a service in the Air Force, raising three sons, and a career in real estate management, Barr found herself starting over in her mid-fifties . . .

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Review — TRIAL AND ERROR by Lawrence Licht (Peru)

  Trial And Error (poetry and photography) Lawrence E. Licht (Peru 1963–65) Independently published April 2022 40 pages $15 [plus shipping to the USA, $6-10] (paperback), Contact the author Reviewed by Bill Preston (Thailand 1977-80)  • The array of living forms is staggering, diversity incomprehensible in real terms. A description of even one is like holding the wind with open palm. So begins poet and photographer Larry Licht’s slim and noteworthy book, Trial and Error. Minimalist in design, the book features a series of two-page spreads, arranged in corresponding pages of poetry and photographs. As the poetic opening lines express, ordinary language seems insufficient to describe the natural world in its multitude of diverse forms. Perhaps a more satisfying approach, Licht suggests, is to explore nature’s exquisite intricacy via metaphor and image. Fittingly, each of his twenty spreads is a kind of meditation in words and images on facets of . . .

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19 New books by Peace Corps writers — March and April, 2022

  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 brief 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 she will send you a copy along with a few instructions. In addition to the books listed below, I have on my 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. Please, please join in our Third Goal . . .

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The Volunteer Who Found Himself through a Garden of Remembrance

  by Jeremiah Norris (Colombia 1963-65) (This Profile is drawn from a sensitive and warm-hearted book review by Donald Dimberger, Eastern Caribbean/Antigua, 1977-78 of Every Day Since Desenzano: A Tale of Gratitude, by Patrick Logan, Thailand, 1984-86. • In the popular film It’s a Wonderful Life, George Bailey longs to hear the sounds of “anchor chains, plane motors, and train whistles.” Patrick Logan also longed to hear them. However, to his father they meant separation from the things he held dear. He fought in Italy during WW II and survived through luck and by writing letters almost daily to the woman he’d married just before shipping out. In contrast, his younger son, Patrick, sought overseas adventure, initially as a Peace Corp Volunteer in Thailand. Then, following his father’s death, Patrick inherited those wartime letters, and in them, he learned much about the man from whom he’d grown distant, emotionally at . . .

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Rowland Sherman (PC first photographer) exhibit at Provincetown gallery

  “Spirit of the 60’s” Provincetown Art Association Museum 13 May to June something.   Forever Young; Rowland Scherman – Profile Of An Iconic 1960s Photographer The article (above) in the March 15 issue of  Cape Cod Wave  carries the story by Brian Tracy of photographer Rowland Sherman (PC staff) from the time he was 9 and met Babe Ruth, through his years with the Peace Corps, and up to the opening of the show of his work at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum opening on May 24th. And it’s filled with great shots and stories including the famous blue Bob Dylan halo photo that ended up on his Greatest Hits album.    

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Review — FEEDING THE KIDS TO THE SHARKS by J.J. Martin (Papua New Guinea)

  Feeding The Kids To The Sharks: A Stay-at-Island Dad Copes with Fighting, Biting, and Feeding Frenzies in Micronesia J.J. Martin (Papua New Guinea 1989-90) Maske Publishing July 2021 340 pages $14.99 (paperback), $4.99 (Kindle) Reviewed by Martin Ganzglass (Somalia 1966–68) • Feeding the Kids to the Sharks is a marvelous read on multiple levels, not only for the Peace Corps community but for anyone who wants to immerse themselves in the culture of Micronesia, complete with a cast of native islanders, crazy and dedicated ex-pats, elite champion surfers, Aussie naval personal, coral harvesters, biosecurity specialists, and PCVs. In September 2007, RPCV Jeff Martin, formerly a communications and public relations employee of an NGO in Washington, D.C., and the husband of Bette, the newly appointed Deputy Peace Corps Director for the Federated States of Micronesia, arrived with their daughters, Devon and Tess, in Kolonia, the capital of Pohnpei State. Micronesia, populated by . . .

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The Volunteer who photographed the Summer of Love & then went on to slake a great thirst — Bill Owens (Jamaica)

  A Profile in Citizenship by Jeremiah Norris (Colombia 1963–65) •   (This Profile of Bill Owens, Jamaica 1964-65, was largely drawn from in interview conducted by Tony D’Souza, Ivory Coast 2000-02 and Madagascar 2002-2003.)   Early on in his career, Bill took iconic photos of the Hells Angels beating concertgoers with pool cue sticks at the Rolling Stones’ performance during the Altamont Speedway Festival in California four months after Woodstock on December 8, 1969. Altamont is considered by historians as the end of the Summer of Love and the overall 1960s youth ethos. Bill was so fearful of retribution by the Hells Angels that he published the photos from the festival under a pseudonym fearing they would “come and murder’ him. Some of the negatives were later stolen, he believed by the Hells Angels.   In 1964, Bill joined the Peace Corps and was assigned to teach high school in . . .

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Review — EVERY DAY SINCE DESENZANO by Patrick Logan (Thailand)

  Every Day Since Desenzano: A Tale of Gratitude Patrick  Logan (Thailand 1984-86) Peace Corps Writers 150 pages September, 2021 $9.35 (paperback), $6.99 (Kindle) Reviewed by Donald Dirnberger (Eastern Caribbean/Antigua 1977–79) • It is not the road chosen but rather the life one lives upon the journey taken. (An understanding of the poem by Robert Frost.)   Every Day Since Desenzano, A Tale Of Gratitude by fellow RPCV Patrick Logan is a book written about a father and a son living their lives through their words and their gift of giving and sharing through service to others. Learning the importance of family often takes many years, and carries each on different journeys, but in time we come to cherish those who, with gratitude, understand us, even when we did not. In his book, Patrick Logan recounts, through his father’s, his mother’s, his family’s and his own searching and seeking, and . . .

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In 2016 Peace Corps Volunteers were invited to serve in Vietnam — by Sweet William (Peru)

  If you didn’t try to stop the Vietnam War you can join the Peace Corps today and show your apologies to the Vietnamese people personally.   By William Evensen (Peru 1964–66) Sweet William © 2016 • Anyone who knew anything about warfare, from Gen. MacArthur to Defense Secretary Robert Gates, knew it was foolhardy to wage a land war in Asia where you had to travel 11,000 miles to fight and all the enemy had to do was to walk across the street. We stood out and they blended in. Many saw LBJ’s escalation in Vietnam as a military disaster, morally indefensible, and politically repugnant in its propping up of a dictatorship. Few, though, stood up for truth, justice, and the American Way. In 1966 Muhammad Ali was only 24 when he courageously voiced his opposition, “I ain’t got no quarrel against them Vietcong.” In the Spring of ’67 . . .

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Reviews — ANGELS OF BASTOGNE by Glenn Ivers (Liberia)

  I think Angels of Bastogne: A Remembrance of World War II by Glenn Ivers is a terrific and unusual World War II story. Its drama and characters are, in my view, riveting. Ivers weaves a complex structure with third person observation and commentary, a history lesson, and a first person set of interactions and dialogue. The result is a completely engaging experience that teaches, provides human context, and puts the reader in the middle of the narrative. Owen Shapiro, Professor Emeritus in Film, College of Visual and Performing Arts Syracuse University; Co-founder and Artistic Director, Syracuse International Film Festival; Co-founder and Emeritus President, International Filmmaking Academy, Bologna, Italy. • I normally don’t spend any time with historical fiction. Then, I read the first few pages of Angels of Bastogne and didn’t stop until 100 pages! The writing about life going on amid the horror of war is intriguing. The psychology of maintaining sanity amid insane . . .

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The Volunteer who went on to be a leading Congressional Representative — John Garamendi (Ethiopia)

  A Profile in Citizenship by Jeremiah Norris (Colombia 1963-65) • In the early 1960s, John Garamendi earned a B. A. in Business from the University of California, and then an MBA from Harvard Business School. Afterwards, he served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ethiopia from 1966 to 1968. In 1974, John was elected to the California State Assembly, serving a single term before moving on to being elected in 1976 to the California State Senate. Here, he served four terms until 1990, including a spell as Majority Leader. While in the Senate, John chaired the Joint Committee on Science and Technology, the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, and the Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee. He first ran for Governor of California in 1982, losing to the very popular Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley. In 1990, John became the first elected California Insurance Commissioner, serving from 1991 to 1995. . . .

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Review — THE BOY WITH FOUR NAMES by Doris Rubenstein (Ecuador)

  The Boy with Four Names (for adults and young adults) Doris Rubenstein (Ecuador 1971-73) IUniverse June 2021 180 pages $13.99 (paperback), $3.99 (Kindle) Reviewed by John Chromy (India 1963–65); (PC CD/Eastern Caribbean (1977–79); (Assoc Dir-PC/Washington 1979–1981) • In Italy their baby son was named Enrico, and through the support of a network of Jewish people, the Cohen family were able to obtain a visa to enter Ecuador, one of the few western countries willing to take in Jewish immigrants despite the rapidly growing nightmare unfolding in Europe. Arriving on an hacienda in the Altiplano, young Enrico acquired his second name, Enrique, when his family was employed on the ranch and he began school. The story follows his family’s move three years later to Quito where his father opened a small shop and Enrique entered public school, Escuela Espejo, where he thrived academically, but faced numerous social issues as a . . .

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EVERY DAY SINCE DESENZANO by Patrick Logan (Thailand)

  A TALE OF GRATITUDE    In the film, It’s a Wonderful Life, George Bailey longs to hear the sounds of “anchor chains, plane motors, and train whistles.” These were the sounds Patrick Logan (Thailand 1984-86) also longed to hear. To his father, however, they meant separation from the things he held dear. He’d fought in Italy during WWII and had survived through luck and by writing letters almost daily to the woman he’d married just before shipping out. In contrast, his youngest son eagerly sought overseas adventure, initially as a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand. Once in Asia, he stayed. Following his father’s death, Patrick inherited those wartime letters, and in them he learned much about the man from whom he’d grown distant, emotionally at first and then geographically. He decided to trace the route his father had taken through Italy, guided by passages from those letters, and by books on . . .

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The Volunteer Who Is one of the Most Prolific Writers of our Era — Larry Grobel (Ghana)

A Profile in Citizenship by Jeremiah Norris (Colombia 1963–65) • (This Profile is with appreciation to John Coyne for his recent informative interview with Lawrence [Larry] Grobel.) After graduating from UCLA, Larry was a Volunteer in Ghana 1968 to 1971. He worked in Ghana’s Institute of Journalism, teaching Literature, Creative Writing, and Current Events. In the next 36 years, Lawrence managed — somehow, to write two novels; 3 books of short stories; 2 novellas; 2 memories; a book of poems about celebrities; 2 volumes of 4 screen plays; 8 “conversations with” books; a satire on yoga; and 10 books of nonfiction! Within this literary output, Larry squeezed in interviews with international celebrities, creating in the process a veritable rogues’ gallery of contemporary icons.  One was with Marlon Brando for Playboy’s 25th Anniversary issue. Playboy called him “the interviewer’s interviewer.” Another for Playboy was with Truman Capote, that subsequently was turned . . .

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