RPCV & Nobel Peace Prize Nominee Writes His Peace Corps Memoir (Costa Rica)


From Mid Hudson News
April 10, 2020

Hudson Valley resident and four-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee David Taylor Ives (Costa Rica 1980-82) has announced that his new memoir, American Dreamer is available for purchase. The book captures memories of Ives’s experiences of a Peace Corps volunteer – the time spent working in schools and community gardens in impoverished parts of the world, and how the opportunity paved the way to Ives becoming a global humanitarian. Since the early days in the Peace Corps, the author has worked with leaders like President Jimmy Carter and the Dalai Lama, served as the senior advisor to the Permanent Secretariat of the Summits of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, and become well-known for his speeches about humanitarian issues, which he delivers as to generate interest in the world peace initiatives with which he’s involved throughout the world.

According to Ives, “American Dreamer gave me the chance to express my gratitude for the enlightening, rewarding journey I experienced in the Peace Corps and how it shaped my entire life. I hope it sheds light on the importance of finding ways to serve other human beings, and how, in doing so, you always end up getting so much more than you give. My favorite quote is from Albert Schweitzer, Ph.D., M.D., 1952 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate: ‘Everyone must work to live, but the purpose of life is to serve and to show compassion and the will to help others. Only then have we ourselves become true human beings.’ I think that statement captures the heart of what I hope to inspire through American Dreamer.”

Ives’ personal journey, full of challenges, has cultivated that compassion. The author has been through Polio and Guillain Barre Syndrome (GB left him as a quadriplegic for about two weeks and he nearly died from the disease). Ives is currently battling Parkinson’s disease.

“You learn to just keep getting up no matter how much you are knocked down in life, and to use your own adversity to help others. My struggles have helped me empathize deeply with those who are suffering, and my hope is that the book inspires others to do their part to make life a little easier on those around them,” reflected Ives.

The former Executive Director of the Albert Schweitzer Institute of Quinnipiac University, Ives has been an adjunct professor of Political Science, Philosophy, Latin American Studies, and International Culture. Co-author of other books, including Nuclear Proliferation and the Dilemma of Peace in the Twenty-First Century and Reverence for Life Revisited, Ives is also the Executive Producer of the 2005 Emmy-winning documentary Albert Schweitzer: My Life is My Argument.

On a local level in his home Hudson Valley, Ives previously held the executive director role with the Louis Jonas August Foundation, and maintains involvement with the Rhinebeck Rotary Club, of which he’s been a member since 1990.

Of the book, Mohammad Elahee Ph.D., Professor of International Business at Quinnipiac University said “Few books leave an indelible mark on their readers. Among those, even fewer spur the readers to change their outlook of life. Seldom, however, does a book do all of that and go beyond: challenging its readers to change themselves and to make the world a better place for all. David T. Ives’s enchanting memoir falls into the latter category. Against the backdrop of David’s remarkable life, the book is replete with insights gleaned from contemporary life in cultures from around the world. Along the journey, the reader is reminded how individual acts of courage, generosity and thoughtfulness can go a long way in benefitting numerous people and binding them together. This is a must-read for today’s young people who will lead the world of tomorrow.”

Said Muhammad Yunus, PhD, 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Founder of the Grameen Bank in the book’s foreward, “I often lament that we prepare our students for jobs and careers, but we don’t teach them how to think as individuals about what kind of world they would create. I have no doubt that the powerful stories in David’s autobiography would make the readers ponder how they can contribute to make the world a better place for posterity. I also believe that David’s autobiography would inspire a legion of future leaders to work toward making possible what today seems impossible. Reading David’s autobiography is akin to taking a journey that is well worth the time.”

American Dreamer: Memoirs of a Peace Corps Volunteer in Central America and Beyond
David Taylor Ives (Costa Rica 1980-82)
Epigraph Publishing
March 2020
292 pages
$ 35.00 (hardback); $22.00 (paperback)

One Comment

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  • Many thanks for featuring David and his book, I am ordering a copy today.
    Dan Campbell, Peace Corps El Salvador, 1974-1977

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