1
Who Were Brudick And Lederer, And Why The Ugly American?
2
An RPCV & A Good Bet To Be The Next Peace Corps Director
3
RPCV Maureen Orth On Morning Joe
4
All Those Sad Goodbyes
5
The Pleasure Of Small Presses
6
Tony Zurlo (Nigeria 1962-64) New Collection of Poems
7
Talking About 'Honor Killing' With RPCV Ellen R. Sheeley
8
Reflections on the Peace Corps
9
The Ugly Peace Corps Volunteer
10
Review Of The Disappearance

Who Were Brudick And Lederer, And Why The Ugly American?

Eugene Burdick and Bill Lederer met at the Breadloaf Writer’s Conference in Middlebury, Vermont. This would have been about 1948. They then went their separate ways, each establishing himself as a writer. Lederer had a Navy background and was the special assistant to the commander of the military forces of the Pacific Area for over six years. He wrote two books based on his career, one entitled All the Ship’s at Sea, the other, Ensign O’Toole and Me.   By the time he met up again with Burdick in 1957 he had made twenty-six trips to Asiatic Pacific countries. He was famous for escaping official functions and going off to meet local journalists and shopkeepers and visiting the homes of the poor. Eugene Burdick was a teacher of political theory at the University of California and consultant to the Fund for the Republic. He had also been a truck driver, bean hoer, ditch digger, . . .

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An RPCV & A Good Bet To Be The Next Peace Corps Director

Aaron Williams is Vice President for International Business Development and responsible for representing RTI’s international consulting practice in the Washington DC office. He leads the representational efforts, working with RTI’s senior management team and other staff in expanding RTI’s involvement in the international development community’s dialogue regarding policy and programs concerning the USG and other multilateral donor assistance programs. Related to these efforts, he provides leadership in the development of strategic partnerships with other international organizations and global corporations involved in international development activities. Mr. Williams has over 25 years of experience in policy formulation, strategic planning, and the design and implementation of development assistance programs. Mr. Williams has directed a broad range of development assistance programs in the areas of economic policy development and economic growth, trade and investment promotion, banking and finance, democracy and governance, education, housing and urban development, and public health. In his role as a . . .

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RPCV Maureen Orth On Morning Joe

Maureen Orth (Colombia 1964-66) was on Morning Joe this morning talking about the Peace Corps and the school she started as a PCV in Colombia. Years ago we were talking about these inexpensive laptops, as a new version of the famous booklockers that were given to PCVs to leave behind in their villages, and/or to be the first books in the first library of their schools. A number of RPCVs said giving PCVs laptops was a terrible idea. Well, Maureen has made it work in her  bilingual public school, using the technology from the program “One Laptop per Child.”  Check out:www.K12wired.com. Maureen also made a pitch for more Peace Corps, saying we need to increase the budget and the number of Volunteers serving overseas. Nicely done, Orth!

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All Those Sad Goodbyes

The 25th Anniversary Conference mostly took place on the Washington D.C. Mall where 5,000 + gathered under the largest tent ever raised at the foot of the Capitol Dome and adjacent to the Air and Space Museum. The Mall was the brainchild of Bill Carey (India 1968-69) the executive director of the conference. The late talented writer David Schickele (Nigeria 1961-63) wrote, “The tent was like the Peace Corps I was part of. Its muggy windless flaps said something about heat and hard work and improvisation, its massive nonchalance the perfect protection for the ideas being hatched beneath it.” Over 70% of those at the conference had served in the first 10 years of the Peace Corps. Almost 45% had served in just 10 of the 82 countries represented at the conference. Brazil, Colombia, Ethiopia, India, Liberia, Malaysia, Nigeria, Philippines, Thailand and Turkey. People had come from all 50 states and 12 other countries. Doug . . .

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The Pleasure Of Small Presses

Sometimes (many times) it pays to be published by a small press. Take Lauri Anderson (Nigeria 1965-67) His novel, Hunting Hemingway’s Trout was first published by the well known New York publisher,  Athenaeum. But since that edition came and went, he has been published by the small Minnesota press, North Star. They are a legitimate small press who do not give advances but do pay royalties. They also keep all of his books in print and have gone back to print with his most popular books.  Several of his books are used in literature classes at various universities and two, those set in Misery Bay, were woven into a film that was shown on prime-time TV in Finland.  Many of his characters are Finnish because Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is full of Finns and the town where he grew up in northern Maine also had a lot of Finns,  including his father.  As Laurie writes, “My writing career has been disappointing monetarily but gratifying in that . . .

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Tony Zurlo (Nigeria 1962-64) New Collection of Poems

In his review  in the San Antonio Express, Roberto Bonazzi writes of Tony Zurlo (Nigeria 1962–64) new collection of poems, The Mind Dancing: “These poems about China make it clear that he [Zurio] is neither Western-centric nor egocentric, and that he has remained open to the ancient wisdom of the East.” Tony’s first  poem is  “Dao: The Elusive One” who “consumes scholars / in missions of the mind, / convinced they can analyze / and split it like an atom, / attracts philosophers / like gravity, confident / they will tame it with syllogisms and logic, / lures pilgrims to mountain tops, / guided by monks who promise / paradise to all who yield / to the scripture of bliss.” Not all of the poems are brief Zen-like lyrics; there are also longer discursive poems with witty turns and several love poems for his Chinese wife, artist Vivian Lu, who provides a . . .

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Talking About 'Honor Killing' With RPCV Ellen R. Sheeley

Ellen R. Sheeley was an early business PCV in Western Samoa from 1983 to 1985. Finishing her tour, she traveled home very slowly, circling the globe. Years later as a successful businesswoman, she happened to watch a television newscast that impassioned her. Ellen was kind enough to grant an electronic interview about her book Reclaiming Honor in Jordan: A National Public Opinion Survey On “Honor” Killings. She was interviewed by Lawrence F. Lihosit (Honduras 1975-77) a  city planner who publishes books (travel & poetry)  as a hobby. [Larry:] What is an honor killing? [Ellen:] “Honor” killing is the murder of family for actual or perceived immoral sexual behavior. It is a misguided attempt to restore family honor. Immoral behavior could be rape (in which case the rape victim is murdered), extramarital or premarital intercourse, or even flirtation. “Honor” killing is believed to have its origins in misinterpretations of pre-Islamic Arab . . .

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Reflections on the Peace Corps

Alan Guskin, as most people know, was one of the key influences in the creation of the Peace Corps and went from the University of Michigan to Thailand with the first group of PCVs. He has had a long career in education and is currently the President Emeritus of Antioch University, where he was President and then Chancellor from 1985-97. This is a short except from his essay, A Way of Being in the World: Reflections on the Peace Corps 30 Years Later. It was published in the The Antiochian in the Fall of 1991. It is republished here with Alan’s permission. . . . The Peace Corps began in a light drizzle at 2 a.m. in the morning on Oct. 14, 1960, near the end of a tumultuous presidential campaign.  John Kennedy won the election a few weeks later, the hopes of a new generation of the 1960s began . . .

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The Ugly Peace Corps Volunteer

In 1958 came The Ugly Americanby William Lederer and Eugene J. Burdick. This book went through fifty-five printings in two years and was a direct motivation in creating the Peace Corps, as Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman points out in her history of the Peace Corps, All You Need Is Love.      In a “Factual Epilogue” to the novel, Lederer and Burdick lay out the basic philosophy and modus operandi of what would later be the Peace Corps. Writing about how America should “help” developing countries, the authors declare: We do not need the horde of 1,500,000 Americans – mostly amateurs – who are now working for the United States overseas. What we need is a small force of well-trained, well-chosen, hard-working, and dedicated professionals. They must be willing to risk their comforts and – in some cases – their health. They must go equipped to apply a positive policy promulgated by . . .

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Review Of The Disappearance

The Disappearance by RPCV Efrem Sigel came out several months ago from The Permanent Press, a company that had published a number of fine Peace Corps books. It is reviewed here by Leita Kaldi Davis who worked with Roma (Gypsies) for fifteen years before she became a Peace Corps Volunteer in Senegal. The Disappearance by Efrem Sigel (Ivory Coast 1965–67) Permanent Press February 2009 264 pages $28.00 Reviewed by Leita Kaldi Davis (Senegal 1993–96) Joshua and Nathalie Sandler’s 14-year old son, Daniel, disappears one day from their summer home in a quiet New England town where Joshua is involved in the development of an upscale resort that earns him enemies among local citizens who view them as New York outsiders.  Anonymous threats result in the poisoning of Joshua’s partner’s dog and Joshua, sensing the town’s secrets and mysteries, suspects that his son’s disappearance might be a similar sinister warning.  What he . . .

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